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Pakistani Detainee Seeks New Trial

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    CALIFORNIA MAN CONVICTED IN TERROR CASE BEGINS QUEST FOR A NEW TRIAL Jeff Hood, Lodi Bureau Chief April 02, 2007 Stockton Record
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 5, 2007
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      Jeff Hood, Lodi Bureau Chief
      April 02, 2007
      Stockton Record

      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
      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
      deliberation process.

      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.



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