Monday, August 25, 2008

24 Aug 2008: SF8 Update

Preliminary Hearing postponed

The short report: the Preliminary Hearing for the case of the San Francisco 8, originally scheduled for early September, has been continued (put off). No new date has been set. Details follow.

Update from SF 8 hearing of Aug. 22

Meeting in Judge Moscone's chambers, the prosecution conceded that the defense would indeed need more time to sort through the new discovery documents that they had given them. The state did not oppose the motion for continuance that the defendants had recently filed.

About three weeks ago the state prosecutors gave the defense several DVD discs filled with tens of thousands of pages of new and un-catalogued discovery with substantial missing papers and material gaps. This "document dump" was accompanied by an enormous and unusable potential witness list (with no contact information for anyone and including names of people who are deceased) and a refusal by the prosecution to provide any exhibits list whatsoever. This after the state had several times said that they had turned over everything they had.

A five minute hearing -- No new date

After the meeting in chambers, Judge Moscone granted the continuance and kept September 8 reserved to once again meet with the lawyers and defendants in chambers to set future dates.

Herman and Jalil out of shackles

It was great to see both Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim out of the shackles that they had been forced to wear in previous hearings. Both are continuing to pursue a temporary return to New York for their parole hearings, but that issue was not addressed in this brief hearing.

Last May, Judge Moscone agreed with the consent of the state prosecutor and the SF County Sheriff to return them both to NY State for parole hearings -- their legal right after more than 35 years of imprisonment. But a month later the judge rescinded his order due to pressure from the CA Attorney General's office, and held the transfer in abeyance until new language was adopted to conform with the concerns of the Attorney General. The Attorney General's office has
drafted an amended Executive Agreement which would allow the brothers to return to New York, although the Attorney General has refused to disclose the text of the amended agreement to the brothers or their attorneys. According to the Attorney General's office the amended Executive Agreements have been sent to California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and New York's Governor Paterson to be signed.

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