Update on Chicago "Terrorism" Cases
The three alleged NATO protest "terrorists" had a brief hearing on June 12th where they were told they are being indicted under a post-9-11 Illinois terrorist statute. They are the first to ever be indicted under the law. The government refused to actually give them a copy of the indictment. The defense said they had not received any underlying evidence of the charges and did not understand why they could not see the indictment. Judge Adam Bourgeois, Jr. said “I don’t either, but that’s the way they’re doing it. It seems a little strange, but that’s the way it is.” The judge did not order the prosecutors to provide the indictment. The prosecutors will be required to provide the indictments before the July 2nd arraignment.
Occupy Chicago activists listen as attorney Michael Deutsch, right, representing one of three NATO protesters indicted in a terror case, speaks to the media Tuesday at the Cook County Criminal Courts Building. (José M. Osorio, Chicago Tribune / June 12, 2012)
"That's in keeping with everything else they've done in this whole case," said attorney Thomas Anthony Durkin, who represents Chase. "They've not shared a bit of information with us."
Brian Church, 20, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Jared Chase, 24, of Keene, N.H.; and Brent Vincent Betterly, 24, Oakland Park, Fla., are charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism, material support for terrorism and possession of explosives. If convicted on all counts, they could each face a maximum 85-year prison term. They appeared in court shackled and wearing yellow jump suits. The three are each being held in Cook County Jail on $1.5 million bail, which they have been unable to raise.
According to the charges filed last month, the men are "Black Bloc" anarchists who planned to attack four Chicago police stations and destroy squad cars with the crude bombs. They also intended to hit President Barack Obama's national campaign headquarters in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home in Ravenswood and downtown financial institutions, prosecutors alleged.
Kevin Gosztola summarizes the abuses in the case so far: "Abuses of authority in this preemptive prosecution already include (but are not limited to): the disappearing of arrestees after the raid; the refusal to show arrestees’ attorneys a search warrant; the detention of arrestees without charge for one day to two days before six were released without charges; the interrogations of the six released without charges that were intended to intimidate and force them to falsely confess or snitch on others in the movement; the refusal to show any evidence against the arrestees charged with terrorism prior to a bond hearing on Saturday and the decision by someone in the department to show police records on the arrestees to the Chicago Tribune so they could be turned into boogeymen ahead of a Saturday bond hearing (just before the NATO summit on Sunday and Monday).
Two other activists face terrorism-related charges but have yet to be indicted. Sebastian Senakiewicz, 24, who resides in Chicago, was charged with a felony offense of “falsely making a terrorist threat.” Mark Neiweem, 28, who also resides in Chicago, was charged with the “felony offense of solicitation for possession of explosives or explosive or incendiary devices.” They were not arrested with the NATO 3, but the same infiltrators, “Mo” and “Gloves,” led to their arrests as well.
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