[sixties-l] TRIAL UPDATES [Al-Amin, SLA] (fwd)

From: sixties@lists.village.virginia.edu
Date: Mon Mar 04 2002 - 19:02:18 EST

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    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Mon, 04 Mar 2002 13:14:34 -0800
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: TRIAL UPDATES [Al-Amin, SLA]

    Oread Daily March 4


    As a new week begins in the trial of Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin it is expected
    that defense attorneys will call several witness who will contradict
    prosecution testimony that it was Al-Amin who shot two deputies. Many of
    these people were never questioned by police. One witness will be Imhotep
    Shaka, who lives in the same West End neighborhood as Al-Amin and who will
    testify he saw someone other than Al-Amin firing shots at the deputies.
    Also to be called is national guardsman Courtney Davis who will say that it
    was not Al-Amin who fired on federal agents before allegedly fleeing into a
    wooded area near White Hall, Alabama. Davis is expected to say that he saw
    someone wearing different clothing from Al-Amin's shooting at agents. Julia
    Mae Brazil will support the Davis testimony. She says she, too, saw someone
    wearing different clothing from Al-Amin's shooting at the agents. White
    Hall residents Cedric Steele and John White will also testify they did not
    see anyone shooting at federal agents but saw agents firing.

    Last week in a rather amazing ruling, Judge Stephanie Manis ruled that the
    defense could not imply that race might be a motive for police and
    prosecution actions in the case. Manis declared racial issues irrelevant to
    the trial. This took place as defense Attorney Jack Martin was attempting
    to elicit testimony concerning possible racial division amongst law
    enforcement officers involved in the investigation. Martin said white
    officers had tried to cover up an FBI agent's attack on Al-Amin after his
    arrest while three black law enforcement officers were willing to reveal
    the assault. Race may create a motive "to tailor your testimony, to stretch
    what you really know, perhaps even to plant evidence," Martin said. Defense
    lawyers have raised the possibility that federal agents planted key
    evidence in the vicinity of Al-Amin's arrest -- namely an assault rifle and
    handgun tied to the killing of Sheriff's Deputy Ricky Kinchen and the
    wounding of Deputy Aldranon English. "There seems to be some type of
    allegiance of silence," Martin told Manis. "I was going to say conspiracy
    of silence, but I don't like to use the word 'conspiracy.' " During his
    testimony, FBI Special Agent Ron Campbell acknowledged he kicked and spat
    at Al-Amin following the arrest. Earlier, an Alabama sheriff testified he
    was bothered by an FBI agent's unprovoked assault on the handcuffed Al-Amin
    but he didn't report it. "He kicked him, he spat on him and he called him a
    scumbag cop killer," said Lowndes County Sheriff Willie Vaughner.

    And out in California, where hearing have been going on in the "SLA" bank
    robbery and murder case, it came to light that prosecution investigator had
    spent 4 hours listening and taking notes on secretly recorded conversations
    involving William Harris and his former wife, Emily Montague, shortly after
    the two were jailed before concluding that the conversations "dealt with
    trial preparation." "It's pretty outrageous conduct," said James
    Bustamante, attorney for Michael Bortin. "They got caught at something
    relatively dirty." Bustamante pointed out that while jailers are entitled
    to monitor prisoner conversations for security reasons such monitoring does
    not mean recordings. He said California court rulings have held that the
    monitoring can't be for the purpose of gathering evidence. Jailers in
    Portland, Ore., also tape-recorded Bortin's Jan. 16 conversations with his
    wife after his arrest, at the request of Sacramento County investigators,
    defense attorneys said.

    Sources: ABC News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Iman Jamil.com

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