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Crumpacker comment on third day of Posada hearing

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  • Crump8@aol.com
    Comment on Posada Hearing, Day 3 by Tom Crumpacker There were no witnesses today and the matter was continued to September 26 at 8:30 a.m. The attorneys were
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2005
      Comment on Posada Hearing, Day 3
      by Tom Crumpacker

      There were no witnesses today and the matter was continued to
      September 26 at 8:30 a.m. The attorneys were conferring in the hall
      for an hour while the press, Posada and judge waited in the
      courtroom. When they came back Posada's lawyer stated to the judge
      that Posada, because of his concern about his having to testify
      further might embarrass the US and endanger its security, had decided
      to withdraw his claim for asylum, but would continue seeking CAT
      protection regarding Venezuela. (This in fact is what he has really
      been seeking all along.)

      CAT is the Convention Against Torture. It prevents people from being
      sent, either by way of deportation or extradition, to countries which
      torture people. They can be held in US without immigration status
      such as residence (green card). They can be held in custody or
      apparently under some circumstances (if not dangerous, to be
      determined later) they can be paroled and allowed to live freely in
      US and work.

      In order to get CAT protection, the deportee or accused must
      establish as a "clear probability" that he will be tortured if sent
      to such a country (Venezuela here). Based on the equivocal testimony
      yesterday by longtime Posada friend, Venezuelan lawyer Chaffardet (he
      was not even cross examined), Judge Abbott held today that Posada had
      established a prima facie case for CAT protection, that is, at this
      point the proof has established a clear probability that Venezuela
      would torture him if sent there. It's now up to the Homeland lawyers
      to rebut this prima facie case, which they can do by presenting
      country conditions (Venezuela) at the hearing on September 26. Enough
      evidence to convince the judge that Posada would not be tortured in

      The government lawyer was not prepared to do this today. She said
      Homeland had "serious and grave" concerns about the torture situation
      in Venezuela. She might want to rebut Posada's evidence, and she
      might not, Homeland is in constant contact with State Dept. and
      Justice Dept. about this.

      The judge pointed out CAT also provides that US can also seek as a
      condition of deporting or extraditing Posada a promise by Venezuela
      that they would not torture him, in such case if the promise is
      sufficiently reliable, the CAT protection could be removed and he
      would be sent there. However the judge said he had never, in his 10
      years as an immigration judge, seen the government do this.

      The judge also indicated that he would issue a written order
      regarding this today, there were some agreements on exhibits.
      Posada's lawyer held a press conference after the hearing, in
      which he talked about his client's honor in protecting US
      security. He also said Posada will shortly be applying for US

      To me as a lawyer, the injustice and absurdity of this case is too
      much to stomach. This man, the worst terrorist in the hemisphere, who
      has bombed a civilian airliner in flight and murdered hundreds of
      innocent people, all at the direction of the CIA and DISIP, is now
      well on his way to be honored and rewarded for his service by
      protection from the Venezuelan justice system solely on the basis of
      a friend's (head of DISIP at the time of the airliner bombing)
      testimony about one instance of seeing three men with black eyes in a
      Venezuelan court. This comes at a time when our CIA is kidnapping
      people all over the world and taking them to countries like Egypt and
      Jordan to be tortured them to get information CIA deems useful to US.
      To call this justice is insane. I call it shocking and revolting.
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