Tarik Shah update (March, 'O6)
This is an update on the case of Harlem bassist Tarik Shah, accused of "conspiracy" and "terrorism" by the government, and held in the Tombs for eight months in solitary confinement without trial and without actually being accused of committing any violent crime. (Please see tariksfriends.faithweb.com for more information on the case before now.)
On Saturday, March 11, 2006 at 10:50 AM, Erika McDaniel Edwards [co-counsel of attorney Anthony Ricco] wrote to Margaret Davis:
Mr. Shah has a new attorney named Joshua Dratel. He can be reached at 212-732-O7O7, email@example.com.
There doesn't seem to be a Web site www.joshuadratel.com to go with his Email address, but there are a lot of links to be found on the Web, and Joshua Dratel seems to be a powerful defense attorney in this type of case. From the American Civil Liberties Union site:
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is a non-profit organization comprised of 10,000 lawyers and 28,000 affiliate members representing every state. The NACDL was founded in 1958 to promote study and research in the field of criminal law; to disseminate and advance knowledge of the law in the area of criminal practice; and to encourage the integrity, independence and expertise of defense lawyers in criminal cases. Joshua L. Dratel is a nationally recognized criminal defense lawyer in New York City, a member of NACDL's Board of Directors, and Co-Chair of its Select Committee on Military Tribunals, and the co-editor of The Torture Papers: The Legal Road to Abu Ghraib.
Another link shows that Mr. Dratel was named president of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers last year.
An article he wrote on terrorism prosecutions that was published in "The Champion" in Sept. / Oct., 'O4 appears at this really unfortunate link (which should be all continuous in your browser):
I have more contact information for Mr. Dratel, but please see the request from Tarik's sister (also an attorney), below.
I am very hopeful that things will get better for Tarik now with this impressive new legal representation.
I believe if we are champions for justice, justice shall prevail!
Please be reminded that Tarik's next court hearing, which is open to the public, comes up on Friday, March 17th, 'O6 at 9:3O a.m. at the U.S. Courthouse, 5OO Pearl Street at Centre Street (3 blocks north of Chambers St. above the northeast corner of City Hall Park) on the 12th floor, Manhattan, 212-8O5-O5OO or -O3OO. The closest subway stop is the IRT Lexington Ave. line # 4, 5 or 6 to Brooklyn Bridge / City Hall(or by way of music directions, not far from J&R Music World). People can also call the transit information line for more directions: 718-33O-1234.
On Saturday, March 11, 2006 at 3:01 PM, Kalimah Jenkins at firstname.lastname@example.org wrote to Margaret Davis:
Good Afternoon, Ms. Davis. This is Tarik's sister and I want to first thank you and everyone on your list for your continued support of my brother. I do not have your list members, but I have been receiving all of your emails.
I was wondering if you could do me a favor and forward the following to your list members:
Tarik's family wants to thank you for all of your support and as you are probably aware, we have made a decision to change counsel. Mr. Joshua Dratel has agreed to take my brother's case, but has to obtain approval from Judge Preska first. He will be making that request this week, hopefully before the March 17th court date. If Mr. Dratel is appointed, he is going to be inundated over the next couple of weeks getting up to speed. The discovery* from the government is quite voluminous. While we recognize your frustration with being unable to contact Tarik's former counsel, the family is requesting that at this juncture, you refrain from attempting to contact Mr. Dratel at least for now. As Ms. Davis noted in her e-mail, Mr. Dratel comes highly recommended and is a very popular defense attorney. We are thankful for his decision to take my brother's case. We don't want Mr. Dratel to be deterred or interrupted, however, by the receipt of multiple inquiries regarding the case. Thank you so much for your continued support.
Please feel free to email me if you have any questions that I can answer.
* A quick note from Margaret: The word "discovery," used in this sense, is a complicated legal term, but I think basically it means inspection of documents and other materials that may be entered as evidence in the trial by the opposing side.
So in other words, please direct your inquiries to Kalimah Jenkins for the time being. She is Tarik's sister and also an attorney, so she should be an ideal source of information.