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Judi Bari v. the FBI press release #3

JUDI BARI v. the FBI, April 11, 2002

First Week?s Testimony Establishes Immediate
Arrest and Sweep of "Suspects"; FBI Blames Bumbling Bari Bomb
Investigation on Saddam Hussein!

Contacts: Kathy Glass, Jean Eisenhower, Steve Christianson
Bari vs. FBI Media Office -- 510-663-6330
Oakland, CA?The civil rights lawsuit of Judi Bari
and Darryl Cherney against the FBI and Oakland Police Dept. (OPD)
wrapped up its first week today, with witnesses Karen Pickett, Paul
Slivinski, Betty Ball, Gary Ball, Michelle Gribi, and Sgt. Michael Sitterud
testifying. The questioning of Wednesday and Thursday?s witnesses largely aimed
to establish the time of arrest and the events immediately following the
car-bomb blast that occurred when the two plaintiffs, who are
prominent environmentalists, were traveling through Oakland on May 24, 1990.

The exact time of arrest and the order in which
events occurred are crucial to determining at which point police and FBI
officers in charge of the investigation decided that the car?s occupants
were the bombing suspects. According to the deposed testimony of OPD officer
Walter Ludwig (now deceased), he filled out the arresting paperwork
on Judi at 3 pm, while she was in surgery. Ludwig?s testimony further
revealed that the arresting documents he produced had been later altered to
change the penal code section under which Judi and Darryl were booked.

Meanwhile, at the bombing scene, Alameda County
Bomb Squad responder T.J. Roumph had come to the initial conclusion that
the bomb was placed under the car seat, not in the back floorboard as FBI
Special Agent Frank Doyle has maintained. Roumph?s testimony contradicts
the FBI?s conclusion that Judi and Darryl must have known the bomb was

Seeds of Peace activist Shannon Marr and Earth
First! organizer Karen Pickett testified that they were immediately
swept into custody and questioned by police simply for being friends of
Judi?s when the bomb exploded (Shannon) and for trying to visit Judi
in the hospital (Karen). The Seeds of Peace house, where Judi and Darryl
had spent the night before, was ransacked during a warrantless search. The
car?s passenger, Darryl Cherney, was put under control of OPD Officer
Paul Slivinski, who testified he understood he was ?guarding a prisoner.?
Slivinski escorted Cherney out of the hospital at about 5 pm and took him to
Oakland police headquarters, where he would be questioned and booked into

OPD Evidence Technician Michelle Gribi provided the information that the
evidence from the bombing scene was taken to the police administration
building, from which is was transferred to the San Francisco FBI
headquarters, where it languished for 5 days.

Former director of the Mendocino Environmental Center Betty Ball testified
that organizing activities for the 1990 Redwood Summer protests had its
core a renunciation of tree spiking and a requirement for all participants
to sign pledges of non-violence and participate
in non-violence training.

She also noted that FBI Special Agent Stockton Buck had attempted to talk
to her in the fall of 1990, but she declined to do so without a lawyer
present. When she sought an interview with her lawyer present, Mr. Buck was
unavailable. Under cross-examination from the defense, Ms. Ball was asked
if she was aware that tensions were heating up in the Persian Gulf at that
time. Said Darryl Cherney, ?The FBI talks out of both sides of its mouth:
They first claim that people associated with the plaintiffs wouldn?t talk
to them, then when confronted with people who repeatedly tried in vain to
talk to them, they blame the Saddam Hussein and the Persian Gulf crisis
crisis for their inability to pursue leads to the real bomber.?

Next Monday?s witness schedule includes the completion of defendant Sgt.
Sitterud?s testimony and the examination of defendant OPD member Sgt.
Robert Chenault, OPD Bomb Squad member Myron Hanson, and OPD Sgt. Del

The trial will continue until approximately May 24, 2002, in the Oakland
Federal Courthouse, 1301 Clay St., Judge Claudia Wilken?s courtroom (4th
floor). Hearings take place Monday through Thursday, 8:30 am to 1:30 pm.
The proceedings are open to the public.

1611 Telegraph Avenue, Room 205 (corner 16 St.)
Oakland, CA 94612

Environmentally Sound Promotions
PO Box 2254
Redway, CA 95560

websites to check out:
On the bombing and attempted frame up by FBI of
Judi Bari and Darryl
Cherney:  http://www.judibari.org
$50,000 Reward for info leading to incarceration
of Charles Hurwitz:
Darryl Cherney's music homepage:

phone: phone: 510-663-6330