Pennsylvania Senator Republican Pat Toomey last week went before the whole US Senate to oppose the nomination by President Obama of Debo Adegbile, former head of the litigation department of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. In his speech, Toomey tried to argue that Adegbile is unfit for the job because he supervised the Legal Defense Fund’s role in helping with the appeal in federal court of the death sentence of Philadelphia journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal — an appeal that ended up vacating that sentence, and that was left standing by the US Supreme Court.
At first I thought that this entire case is some sort of mad mistake and nonsense. But now, after listening to the speeches by prosecutors and after finding out what are the imprisonment terms that they demanded for all of us, I realized that they take revenge on all of us. They take revenge because we've been there and we saw how it was all really happening. Who provoked the crushing, how the people were being beaten, the unjustified cruelty. They take revenge on us because we did not cave in to them and did not admit our non-existent guilt. Neither during investigation nor during the trial.
On Friday, February 7, 2014, the jury in the NATO 3 trial returned its verdicts against Brent Betterly, Jared Chase, and Brian Jacob Church. These three had been held in Cook County Jail in Chicago since they were arrested on May 16, 2012. They faced trumped up, politically motivated terrorism, conspiracy, and arson charges because of their perceived politics and political activities (mostly through the Occupy movement).
The closing arguments in the NATO 3 trial concluded today and the jury began deliberations to determine whether each of them will be convicted or acquitted on each of the seven charges they are facing. The jury was released for the evening at about 11pm and are scheduled to return at 9am tomorrow to continue deliberations. They must keep deliberating until they reach a verdict.
The jury instructions for the charges against the NATO 3—Brent Betterly, Jared Chase, Brian Jacob Church—were finalized in court at the end of yesterday's proceedings and throughout the day today. Additionally, the defense argued a motion to strike portions of undercover cop Mehmet Uygun's testimony as being improper. The judge denied this motion, which concluded arguments over the final issue before closing arguments tomorrow morning at 10am (court will be in session starting at 9:30am, so all spectators must be seated by 9:15am).
Interview with anarchist prisoners in the so-called "Bolotnaya Case", former sailor Alexei Polikhovich, 22 (pictured), and historian Stepan Zimin, 21. They are amongst the many people charged with participation in the May 6, 2012 clashes with police during an opposition rally in Moscow's Bolotnaya Square. Both face a sentence of five-and-a-half year in penal colony, having spent over a year in pre-trial detention.
Today in the trial of the NATO 3—Brent Betterly, Jared Chase, Brian Jacob Church—undercover Chicago cop Mehmet Uygun (aka “Mo”) continued his testimony and began cross-examination by the defense attorneys. A few audio recordings from the undercovers' wires were also played as Uygun gave more testimony. These recordings largely showed that Uygun, like his partner Nadia Chikko (aka “Gloves”), had instigated discussions of Molotovs and other explosives, sought materials for making Molotovs, and directed some of the defendants in constructing them on May 16, 2012.
Trial today consisted of a long series of tedious evidence submission processes. The defense objected to many of the state's attempts to submit evidence collected from computers seized during the raid when Brian Jacob Church and Jared Chase were arrested, but most were overruled. The defense did win some of their arguments, though, preventing some evidence from getting in and ensuring other important pieces of evidence got in over the state's objections. Undercover Chicago cop Mehmet Uygun, aka “Mo” or “Turk,” was expected to take the stand but did not because the proceedings today drug out for so long. He will take the stand at 10am on Thursday.
Yesterday, undercover Chicago cop Mehmet Uygun, aka “Mo” or “Turk,” took the stand in the trial against the NATO 3: Brent Betterly, Jared Chase and Brian Jacob Church. “Mo” is expected to be the state's final witness in the conspiracy and terrorism case. The state began their case with the other undercover cop, Nadia Chikko (aka “Gloves”). Chikko's testimony was so weak and full of holes that we expected the prosecutors to be desperately trying to salvage their case through Uygun's testimony. Our predictions proved to be true.