AUDIO FILE: Stanley Cohen to Defend Patrice Lumumba Ford.
Stanley Cohe,a New York lawyer, is known for defending Muslims, and recently known in the Portland area for defending Shiek Kariye, the Portland Imam arrested at the Portland Airport last year and eventually charged and convicted of some relatively minor Social Security violation. Relatively, because it was charged, and local media reported, that at the time of his arrest, minute quantities of explosive residue was found in his luggage. Later, F.B.I. labs proved this to be false.
Since that arrest, seven more Portland area Muslims have been arrested and charged with traveling to countries in the mid east in an attempt to assist Afghan resistance to the U.S. war against the Taliban. One man, Michael Hawash, has since pled guilty, leaving the remaining six defendants to face trial sometime after the first of the year.|
One of the remaining "Portland Six," Patrice Lumumba Ford, has sought to hire Stanley Cohen as his lawyer. Cohen recently filed a notice to that effect, which was challenged by Federal prosecutors on "conflict of interest" grounds. Apparently, an affidavit has been filed alleging a connection between Kariye and the Portland Six. I believe that connection is an alleged financial assistance. There was a hearing on this notice to defend, and it's subsequent challenge, on Friday morning, August 22, 2003, in the Federal courtroom of Judge Jones.
Judge Jones, after requesting statements from Federal Prosecutors, and the defense teams of both Kariye and Ford, took a great amount of time and effort to explain the issues facing both Kariye and Lumumba. The conflict of interest was not actual, but potential, as it seems that if Kariye too was brought up on charges, either man could be asked to testify against the other, with perhaps promises of partial or complete immunity. And too, Stanley Cohen himself, having recently been the attorney for Kariye, could be privy to information which might compromise his new client, Lumumba Ford.
A complicated set of circumstances, or so the Federal Prosecutors would want the judge to believe. After going over a range of possible scenarios which could ensue if Kariye was charged, Judge Jones questioned Lumumba to determine if he was still certain that he wanted to retain Cohen as his lawyer, given the possible scenario that he could potentially be offered immunity from the charges currently against him for testimony against Kariye.
Lumumba said that he had no intention of cooperating, no matter what the plea bargain, period, and so these possible scenarios could be no occasion of fear or anxiety for him. He waived any claim to preventing a conflict of interest to prohibit Cohen from taking the case, as did Kariye. At this point the Judge ruled that Cohen be the defense attorney, but requested that the present attorney remain on the case pro bono, which was agreed. The judge praised the work of Lumumba's attorney, as well as Cohen and those sitting as Federal Prosecutors.
Obviously, much more transpired than my memory is able to reconstruct, but hopefully, this gives some idea of the nuts and bolts of this issue before the court. Judge Jones finished by stating that this was not Los Angeles and that he expected this not to be first tried in the media via interviews or statements to the press.
After court was adjourned, Stanley and another lawyer, Marc Sussman, chatted informally with the media on the steps of the courthouse. The following is about a 12 minute audio file of that encounter, beginning with a question concerning the quality of the Lumumba's defense prior to Cohen taking on the case. I found this interchange of Q & A interesting. Both lawyers steered clear of any details of this particlar case, but spoke to more general areas of the legal principles involved.
Cohen and Sussman
Also, three archival audio files I have on hand featuring Cohen when he was in town defending Kariye. He spoke to a full house at Portland State University on two separate occasions. This is the first of his presentations, broken up into two files of about 1/2 hour each.
Stanley Cohen, Part 1
Stanley Cohen, Part 2
A separate appearance at Portland State University, where he appeared with Robert Bloom, a long time and much revered civil rights attorney. About 55 minutes in length. This is a file of Stanley's remarks
Stanley Cohen Presentation #3
Just for fun, type Stanley Cohen in to google.com, and check out what the right wing wing nuts have to say about Stanley. There are other folks with the same name, so make sure you click on links to articles about the Lawyer Stanley Cohen; you'll see, the one with the big balls:
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