Friday, January 28, 2011

Thoughts on Umar's Hearing This Week and a Look Ahead to the October 4th Trial

by Kurt Haskell:

Lori and I attended Umar's status conference this week. The proceedings were extremely interesting to me. First of all, Umar walked into the courtroom in a white t-shirt. He turned and stood about 20 feet in front of me. I kind of had a deja vu moment as when I saw him in Amsterdam, he stood about 10 feet in front of me with a white t-shirt on. I finally got to hear Umar speak. I've never heard him speak until this hearing. His English seemed pretty good, although he had a fairly heavy accent. He did have a Nigerian translator present and he did consult with him a few times. Most of the hearing was spent in a back and forth discussion between Judge Edmunds and Umar. The discussion centered around the need for Umar to accept standby attorney Chambers as his regular attorney. Umar refused over and over again. Everyone in the court room seemed to just want to stand up and say "LET HIM BE YOUR ATTORNEY!". Judge Edmunds finally gave up. Another part of the hearing discussed the fact that Chambers is not Umar's attorney right now, and therefore, Umar and Chambers don't have the attorney client privilege. Thus, anything Umar tells or shows Chambers can be found out by third parties. The U.S. Attorneys seemed particularly troubled with the fact that some of the information they turned over to Umar, could be obtained by third parties and used in a civil case. I wonder why? The hearing then proceeded with a discussion of if and how the evidence held by Umar's previously fired attorney (given to her by the prosecution) would be turned over to Chambers. The result was that it would only be turned over to Umar at Milan Prison and Umar could show Chambers only what he wants to. Note that Chambers, during this discussion, indicated that Milan prison had not been providing faxes or messages of his to Umar or being helpful in scheduling appointments. He went on to state that it was his belief that Milan prison was doing this intentionally, and he suspected that it had received a call from "higher up" to do this. Note that I had a similar experience with Milan prison last year. The hearing concluded with Judge Edmunds setting a trial date. She first suggested June 23, but Chambers wasn't available. She then suggested September 10, but Chambers again wasn't available. She then suggested October 4 and noted that she wouldn't likely reschedule that date. When she set that date, Umar stated that he needed more time than that to read up on how to do the trial. He then asked for a trial date in 2012. Judge Edmunds immediately refused. I was shocked at how adamant Umar was that he was going to represent himself. I now strongly believe that this matter will proceed to trial. What I am concerned about is that Umar will likely represent himself at the trial. If he does so, he may not know how to get the important evidence admitted into the record. If I am correct and Umar does not use Chambers in the trial, I fear that the facts will never be known. I was very impressed with Chambers and Judge Edmunds. I did not get the impression that either is biased towards the prosecution and the "official" story. I talked to Chambers for a few minutes after the hearing and we will be having a conference soon. It was strangely odd that no other passengers were present. This fact put Lori and I back in the crosshairs of the media crunch. We talked to at least 7 reporters, but only Fox 2 Detroit reported the interview. What is also strange is that nearly all of the passengers seem to have disappeared. I no longer have a valid email address or phone number for any other passenger. I am not sure what to make of this.


Anonymous said...

I hate to say this, but what if the other passengers have been threatened with harm if they speak out, hence the disappearing phone numbers and email addresses?

Good for you for staying strong!

Anonymous said...

I read your reports with great interest, but beeing a german with some knowledge of the german law system, I don't understand: what is a " standby attorney"? Is it something like the german " Plichtverteidiger" ( direct translation: duty- attorney)? In Germany the refusal of Umar against a " Pflichtverteidiger" would be no problem for the jurists, as you cannot refuse such a " Pflichtverteidiger". You can even get one if you have chosen and paid your own attorney. And this attorney automatically gets all files. And the accused person can only look in his files if the attorney accepts this.
But beside this I don't understand the personality of Mr. Umar. He appears to be a self-destructive person, not only in the plane but in the trial, too.
Thank you for your reports about this " homegrown terrorism act" and for your single-mindedness.

Human said...

Most Americans are cowards, hence the disappearing email addresses. Then there are Americans like you two.

Interesting on the Civil angle.

Umar should be declared incompetent to defend himself just on the basis of unfamiliarity with our customs and Law.Does he even know the definition of discovery? That he has a Right to see all the evidence? Just a few questions by the "Judge" would reveal that he most likely would not.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the excellent report.

Maybe the other passengers you had contact with were all 'spooks'. It may have been a CIA loaded flight to ensure the desired outcome.

Milan prison is involved in obstruction of justice.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Kurt and Lori!!! I have followed your story and blogspot since day one. I SO believe what you saw and heard in Amsterdam. God put you there for a purpose, THANK YOU for STANDING STRONG, and following this to it's conclusion.

I listen and ipod Kurts shows. My family is informed, and more people are WAKING UP!! Thank you for going "ON AIR" so I can hear you weekly! God Bless you and your family.

Anonymous said...

1-30-11 Austin TX

"I no longer have a valid email address or phone number for any other passenger. I am not sure what to make of this."

If Umar ever accepts an attorney, then you might ask him to use discovery to get the passenger list?

I hesitate posting this, so you can edit this out if you wish... If you become a witness for the defense could the prosecution try to discredit you as a conspiracy theorist, since you are doing these public conspiracy radio shows?

That's too bad you lost touch with other flight members, but at least you could track down the ones that posted publicly about it or did interviews?

Thanks for the detailed updates. Look forward to following this to its completion.

Lori H said...

This is Kurt Haskell:

"I hesitate posting this, so you can edit this out if you wish... If you become a witness for the defense could the prosecution try to discredit you as a conspiracy theorist, since you are doing these public conspiracy radio shows?"

I thought about this before I started my radio show. If you really think it through, I will make them look preposterous for even asking the question. What is the implication, that I made the story up just after the flight landed? Think about that for a second. You would have to assume the following:

1. I was able to create this plan in the midst of a near death experience.
2. I would risk my bar license.
3. I would risk prosecution for obstruction of justice.
4. I would risk my sizable income.
5. I would risk my reputation.
6. I would call for the release of a video that would discreit me.

Note that I have turned down all forms of compensation for anything related to this story as other witnesses are having big paydays. Make no mistake that being an attorney, I am very skilled at deflecting arguments back against my opponent. It is my profession. Also note that Umar is being charged with conspiracy! Lastly, my resposne will be simply "Show the video instead of trying to discredit me".

For these reasons, I am not concerned and it would be a foolish mistake on their part to challenge me based on a nonprofit radio show.


Human said...

Okay, I hear a witness yelling to be heard. I always assumed that to be a witness in a trial one would have to be called by the adversaries. But, then it occurred to me, maybe it's not so. Can the Judge call or an appeal by the witness to the court to testify be taken into consideration? If Umar does not call any witness to his defense, I think an appeal by a witness for the defense must be taken seriously.

slewofdamascus said...

I hate to say this, but I'm sure you've considered it, the government may have tried to defame you with the other passengers, suggesting that you are doing untoward things to get attention, and suggesting to them that they change their e-mails, etc. and so on. Do you think they are above that? I want to commend you for sticking to the facts when talking with the media, I think you have both been exemplary witnesses and as representatives for caring and thoughtful, constitution-loving, Americans everywhere - thanks for everything!