Pakistani Detainee Seeks New Trial
- CALIFORNIA MAN CONVICTED IN TERROR CASE BEGINS QUEST FOR A NEW TRIAL
Jeff Hood, Lodi Bureau Chief
April 02, 2007
The jury foreman in last year's trial of a Lodi man convicted of
attending a terrorist training camp in Pakistan will be the one on the
witness stand Friday in a Sacramento courtroom, this time to face
questions by defense attorneys seeking a new trial for Hamid Hayat.
Joseph Cote will be asked about what is being called the "hangman
gesture" Cote allegedly made to other jurors Feb. 21, 2006, the second
day of testimony in Hayat's trial. He also said, "Hang him," according
to an affidavit a fellow juror signed two days after Hayat's April 25
U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. ordered the special hearing
on Cote's conduct before he allows attorneys for Hayat and the
government to expand orally on their written arguments filed in court
in recent months.
Defense attorneys cite what they call juror misconduct and Burrell's
legal missteps as reasons Hayat, a U.S.-born citizen of Pakistani
descent, should receive a new trial.
Prosecutor Robert Tice-Raskin said last week that Hayat should not
receive a new trial, because, as Tice-Raskin stated in the
government's opposition papers, none of the Lodi man's arguments meet
the legal threshold for a second chance.
Defense attorney Wazhma Mojaddidi said the hearing on Cote is an
acknowledgment by Burrell that prosecutors tried only to minimize the
effect Cote's alleged gesture had on other jurors rather than deny it
Mojaddidi added that the gesture, along with a racial statement Cote
uttered that allegedly troubled at least three other jurors, and his
comments published in an Atlantic Monthly article show that Cote hid
his bias when the jury was being selected.
"A combination of all his actions from the beginning to the end just
shows he shouldn't have been a juror in this case," Mojaddidi said.
"The argument is, had he been truthful, we would have dismissed him."
The jury found Hayat, 24, guilty of providing material support to
terrorism by his attendance at a training camp in Pakistan in 2003 and
2004, and of lying to the FBI. He faces up to 39 years in federal prison.
A trial for his father, Umer Hayat, charged with two counts of lying
to federal agents about Hamid Hayat's training, ended the same day in
a hung jury. Prosecutors did not seek a new trial but settled for a
guilty plea from the elder Hayat that he lied to customs officials
about the amount of cash he was carrying to Pakistan in 2003. Umer
Hayat is now a farm worker - his occupation when he immigrated from
Pakistan in 1976 - and has recently been pruning grapevines.
One relative of the Hayats said he will ignore his lawyer's advice and
testify on his cousin's behalf if there is a new trial. Usama Ismail
said he and Hamid Hayat hung out with friends in Pakistan during the
time in question, visited cities and villages near their family's
hometown and were idle with much of their time.
He said Hayat talked about politics and sympathized with some radical
Islamic groups but didn't take action.
"You don't prosecute people for what they think," Ismail said.
The Hayat case drew national attention when the men were arrested and
again when the verdicts were read nearly a year later. The case became
the focus of a PBS "Frontline" special "Enemy Within," which aired in
The government's investigation, which included paying a Pakistani
immigrant for information about Lodi's Muslim community, continues to
trouble Muslim rights activists.
On Wednesday, the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law
has scheduled a panel discussion on the Lodi case in a forum titled
"Communities Under Siege." The panel includes a federal immigration
judge, a UCLA School of Law professor who teaches a class on terrorism
and former FBI Special Agent Jim Wedick, who volunteered for the
Hayats' defense and criticized the FBI's tactics in the Lodi
"The Lodi case is symbolic of how laws are being used to harass
communities," said Hamid Khan, executive director for the South Asian
Network, an advocacy group in Los Angeles, and the moderator for
Wednesday's discussion. "The government has lost its credibility. It's
a sad state of affairs that there's no trust at all."
Federal authorities met with members of the Lodi Muslim Mosque in
November in an attempt to rebuild that trust, saying they investigated
people only when there was a reason to. Several Lodi mosque members
said they were reassured by the statements of U.S. Attorney McGregor
Scott and FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Drew Parenti, but others said
they were still wary.
Contact Lodi Bureau Chief Jeff Hood at (209) 367-7427 or jhood @
recordnet.com. Visit his blog at recordnet.com/blogs.
Claims She Was Pressured to Convict
By DON THOMPSON
Friday April 28, 2006
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A juror said in a sworn statement that she
was pressured into casting the final vote to convict a man of
attending a Pakistani terrorist training camp.
The juror's affidavit means Hamid Hayat, of Lodi, should get a new
trial, attorney Wazhma Mojaddidi argued in a motion filed in federal
court late Thursday.
``I was under so much stress and pressure (from the other jurors) that
I agreed to change my vote,'' Arcelia Lopez of Sacramento said in her
statement. ``I never once throughout the deliberation process and the
reading of the verdict believed Hamid Hayat to be guilty.''
Meanwhile, prosecutors are expected to tell U.S. District Judge
Garland E. Burrell Jr. on Friday if they will retry Hayat's father,
48-year-old Umer Hayat, after jurors deadlocked on whether he was
guilty of lying to FBI agents about his son's alleged terrorist training.
Prosecutors in Hamid Hayat's case have said repeatedly since Tuesday's
verdict that they don't believe there was any improper influence on
jurors, and that any pressure on Lopez was part of the normal jury
Though emotional, Lopez confirmed her guilty vote in open court
Tuesday when all 12 jurors were questioned by presiding U.S. District
Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr.
``I deeply regret my decision,'' Lopez said in the affidavit obtained
by defense investigator and former FBI agent James Wedick.
Lopez said in her affidavit that by last Friday she was the lone
holdout in the case. She went to a medical clinic Saturday with a
migraine headache and believed ``my health and physical well-being
were being affected by the pressure from the other jurors to change my
On Monday she learned the jury's foreman, Joseph Cote of Folsom, had
sent Burrell a note saying Lopez was causing an impasse in
deliberations. That note was made public Wednesday. Cote did not
return a telephone message seeking comment left at his home.
Prosecutors say Hayat, 23, should face a minimum 30 years in prison at
his July 14 sentencing based on his convictions on charges he provided
material support by attending the terror camp in 2003 and lying about
it to FBI agents when he was questioned after he returned to the
United States in May.
Hayat told agents in an hours-long videotaped statement that he was
awaiting orders to carry out a religious war against targets such as
banks, groceries and hospitals. Mojaddidi disputes the confession and
says there is no direct proof Hayat attended the camp.
Both Hamid and Umer Hayat were detained along with two Muslim
religious leaders in what authorities suggested was part of a
terrorist movement in Lodi, located in a grape-growing region 35 miles
south of the state capital. The two imams and one man's son were
deported for immigration violations, however, and the Hayats were the
only people criminally charged in the probe.
WORLD VIEW NEWS SERVICE
To subscribe to this group, send an email to:
NEWS ARCHIVE IS OPEN TO PUBLIC VIEW
Need some good karma? Appreciate the service?
Please consider donating to WVNS today.
Email ummyakoub@... for instructions.
To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: