Civil lib­er­ties or­ga­ni­za­tion rep­re­sent­ing bomb­ing sus­pect

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OBITUARIES -

NE­WARK, N.J. (AP) >> The Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union on Mon­day be­gan rep­re­sent­ing a man ac­cused of set­ting off bombs in New York and New Jersey and in­jur­ing more than 30 peo­ple.

Af­ter judges in both states de­nied at­tempts by pub­lic de­fend­ers to rep­re­sent Ahmed Khan Ra­hami, a lawyer for the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s New Jersey chap­ter en­tered a no­tice of ap­pear­ance in his case in fed­eral court in Ne­wark on Mon­day.

Ra­hami has been hos­pi­tal­ized since he was caught fol­low­ing a shootout with po­lice in Lin­den last week. He has not made an ini­tial court ap­pear­ance.

Prose­cu­tors said in a fil­ing last week that he had been in­ca­pac­i­tated and in­tu­bated since un­der­go­ing surgery for his wounds. A spokesman for the U.S. at­tor­ney’s of­fice did not have an up­dated con­di­tion avail­able on Mon­day.

Fed­eral judges last week de­nied re­quests by pub­lic de­fend­ers to be ap­pointed to rep­re­sent Ra­hami, agree­ing with prose­cu­tors’ ar­gu­ments that he had not of­fi­cially been ar­rested by fed­eral author­i­ties.

ACLU-NJ Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor Udi Ofer said deny­ing Ra­hami’s right to a lawyer “vi­o­lates the Con­sti­tu­tion and need­lessly sac­ri­fices civil lib­er­ties in the name of na­tional se­cu­rity.”

“It is out­ra­geous that Mr. Ra­hami has been in cus­tody for a week yet has been de­nied the right to have an at­tor­ney visit him to con­firm his con­di­tion and pro­tect his con­sti­tu­tional rights,” Ofer said.

Ra­hami, an Afghan-born U.S. ci­ti­zen, has been ac­cused of det­o­nat­ing a pipe bomb in a New Jersey shore town and a pres­sure cooker bomb in New York City’s Chelsea neigh­bor­hood on Sept. 17. No one was in­jured in the Jersey blast, and 31 peo­ple were in­jured in the New York blast. A sec­ond pres­sure cooker bomb didn’t ex­plode.

ACLU at­tor­ney Alexan­der Shalom said in a fil­ing that Ra­hami’s fa­ther and wife re­quested the ACLU rep­re­sent him un­til he is ap­pointed a fed­eral pub­lic de­fender or other lawyer.

Ra­hami was charged by fed­eral prose­cu­tors in both states and faces state charges in New Jersey in con­nec­tion with the shootout. Two of­fi­cers in­volved in the shootout were treated for mi­nor in­juries.

The charges against Ra­hami in­clude fed­eral ter­ror crimes and state charges of at­tempt­ing to mur­der po­lice of­fi­cers.


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