"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."

Welcome to Infoshop News
Monday, April 21 2014 @ 09:41 AM CDT

Chicago NATO 5: Migs Takes Non-Cooperating Plea Deal, Receives 3-Year Sentence

Solidarity

Yesterday, Mark Neiweem (“Migs”) accepted a non-cooperating plea deal in Cook County Court to felony charges brought on by interactions with undercover Chicago police officers who had infiltrated activist groups prior to last May's NATO protests. Migs pleaded guilty to a probation violation charge from a previous felony conviction and to solicitation and attempted possession of an explosive or incendiary device.

Migs Takes Non-Cooperating Plea Deal, Receives 3-Year Sentence

Yesterday, Mark Neiweem (“Migs”) accepted a non-cooperating plea deal in Cook County Court to felony charges brought on by interactions with undercover Chicago police officers who had infiltrated activist groups prior to last May's NATO protests. Migs pleaded guilty to a probation violation charge from a previous felony conviction and to solicitation and attempted possession of an explosive or incendiary device.

Having spent more than 300 continuous days in the appalling conditions of Cook County Jail while awaiting trial, Migs will now serve out the remainder of a 3-year sentence in a state prison. He is expected to receive credit for time served and other reductions in the duration of his incarceration for good behavior.

Migs and the other defendants in the NATO 5 were all targeted by the same undercover Chicago cops, knows as “Mo” and “Gloves,” because of their perceived politics and associations. Last November, Sebastian Senakiewicz (“Sabi”) took a non-cooperating plea deal to a charge of falsely making a terrorist threat and is currently serving his 4-month boot camp sentence, after which he is expected to be deported to his native Poland. The NATO 3—Brent Betterly, Brian Jacob Church, Jared Chase—are all facing conspiracy and terrorism charges. Their recent constitutionality challenge to the terrorism charges was denied by the judge, although they may have the opportunity to raise this challenge again at trial. Their trial is currently scheduled for mid-September of this year.

Legal support funds for all the prisoners are still urgently needed. In addition to commissary funds, the NATO 3's trial expenses are estimated to cost at least $20,000. Supporters around the world can host events and actions for the International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 from May 16-21 (https://nato5support.wordpress.com/international-week-of-solidarity-with-the-nato-5/). Donations can be made here: https://www.wepay.com/donations/nato-5-defense. Also, contact info for the defendants is available on the support website.

To keep up-to-date, sign up for our announcements listserv by emailing nato-5-announce-subscribe@lists.riseup.net, find us on Facebook at Free the NATO 5! (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Free-the-Nato5/172345546229824), and follow us on Twitter @FreeNATO5 (https://twitter.com/FreeNATO5).

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Ask
  • Kirtsy
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • Twitter
  • SlashDot
  • Reddit
  • MySpace
  • Fark
  • Del.icio.us
  • Blogmarks
  • Yahoo Buzz
Chicago NATO 5: Migs Takes Non-Cooperating Plea Deal, Receives 3-Year Sentence | 1 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Chicago NATO 5: Migs Takes Non-Cooperating Plea Deal, Receives 3-Year Sentence
Authored by: O Chi Press Comm on Sunday, April 14 2013 @ 03:53 PM CDT

Press Release: 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2013

28 year-old Chicago-area NATO Arrestee Pressured into Guilty Plea after Spending 329 days in Cook County Jail
Supporters Decry Political Prosecution, Abusive and Coercive Jail Conditions

Chicago--Mark Neiweem, a 28-year-old Chicago activist, pleaded guilty in Cook County Court yesterday to felony charges brought on by interactions with undercover Chicago police officers who had infiltrated activist groups prior to last May's NATO protests. Neiweem pleaded guilty to a probation violation charge from a previous conviction and to solicitation and attempted possession of an explosive or incendiary device.


Neiweem, who had spent 329 continuous days in the appalling conditions of Cook County Jail while awaiting trial, will now serve out the remainder of a 3-year sentence in a state prison. He is expected to receive credit for time served and other reductions in the duration of his incarceration for good behavior.
"The politically motivated prosecution and abuse Mark suffered in Cook County Jail point to a degree of coordinated state repression and coercion which was physically and psychologically unbearable," said Rachel Unterman of the NATO 5 Defense Committee. "Ultimately, Mark decided to end his ordeal and be transferred out of Cook County Jail by taking a non-cooperating plea deal."

Neiweem faced two consecutive prison sentences as a result of his probation violation, which required a minimum of several years and for which he did not have the right to a jury trial. This charge stood separate from his NATO arrest charges of solicitation and attempted possession of an incendiary device. He was also routinely targeted by jail guards for abuse and mistreatment since last May.

"Mark was willing to tolerate far more abuse than could ever have been expected of him in order to stand up for his political and ethical beliefs," Unterman said. "In the end, pleading guilty to receive concurrent rather than consecutive sentences was the only realistic and rational alternative he had."

In the lead-up to the NATO protests last May, Neiweem was one of several activists specifically targeted by undercover police officers for his political views and as part of a larger effort to justify the millions of taxpayer dollars spent on police during the NATO summit. He was arrested suddenly and without explanation on May 17 of last year, pulled
into a black van and held in jail for three days without explanation, charges or a hearing. While he was initially given a $500,000 bond, this was revoked due to his probation violation, leaving him trapped in Cook County Jail pending trial.

While in jail, the police took advantage of a serious medical condition, putting his life at risk by denying him access to vital medication and forcing several trips to the hospital. Neiweem also encountered innumerable hardships and deprivation, including ever-present threats to his basic safety from other inmates, repeated physical assault by guards in the jail, being placed in solitary confinement multiple times, undergoing continual "lock-downs" on his floor, having his books and possessions destroyed by guards, and being prevented from buying basic necessities by guards who often made his commissary request-slips unreadable.

More information on Neiweem and the other defendants in the NATO 5 can be found at http://nato5support.wordpress.com, on Facebook at Free the NATO 5! (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Free-the-Nato/172345546229824), and on Twitter @FreeNATO5 (https://twitter.com/FreeNATO5).

###