Aug 12, 2009 News Comments Off on Prosecutor insists Simels, co-accused guilty
Robert Simels trial…
Unlike Monday, yesterday was a more subdued and a smaller group gathered at the Cadman plaza courtroom in downtown Brooklyn as the Simels/Irving case headed for conclusion.
Taking the floor yesterday, morning, Morris Fordeman, the US Government Prosecuting Attorney, in his rebuttal, addressed the jury in what he said was a refocusing on the case and on what it was all about rather than what it was not.
He repeatedly urged them to get the tapes and to listen to them carefully. These tapes, he said, would reveal the defendants, Attorneys Robert Simels and Arianne Irving’s guilt, “in their own words.”
In what was seen as a spirited delivery in a somber courtroom, Fordeman, whose parents came on two successive days to listen to their son’s rebuttal, spoke directly to the jury. He said that the defendants’ lawyers did not want the jury to hear all that was on the tapes. He told the jury that the tapes hold devastating evidence of the defendants’ guilt.
He told the jury that there was no dispute that the two worked tirelessly on their client, self-confessed Guyanese drug dealer, Shaheed Roger Khan’s behalf.
He said that of the 38 hours they worked for Khan they did what good lawyers would, find witnesses and interview them and find evidence to try and clear their clients.
But as lawyers they were not permitted to conspire to threaten, intimidate and plan to hurt witnesses, pay witnesses to lie, refuse to testify or change their testimony.
Neither lawyers nor civilians are permitted to do so, he said.
The phrase “don’t kill the mother” which Simels was overheard telling the US-Government informer, Selwyn Vaughn, was said to be a damning evidence since it was used by Fordeman with the transcripted evidence to show that Simels added what Roger Khan had said in relation to David Clarke’s mother.
However when he was speaking of George Allison, David Clarke, Leslyn Comacho, Ryan Pemberton, Alicia Jagnarine, Vijay Jagnarine, and Farrah Singh he told Vaughn that Roger (Khan) said to do whatever was necessary to ensure they do not testify against him.
He said that Irving was part of the scheme to tamper with the witnesses. That too is on the tapes, he declared.
Fordeman told the jury to look at the evidence and not to make a decision based on sympathy.
Speaking about the eavesdropping equipment, the so-called Guyana Government sponsored laptops and the transmitter; Fordeman said that Simels imported them into the US.
He said that Simels had them for two months in his possession and whether or not it worked was not important. He told the jury that they must look at what the equipment was designed to do.
He demonstrated with his Blackberry and taking out the battery he said it was not operational but it was designed to do certain things and so he posited that it is the same with the eavesdropping equipment.
He concluded that Simels and Irving forgot the basic principle that lawyers cannot commit crimes when they breach that trust. He urged the jury to look at the evidence before them and they would see guilt.
Delivering the charge to the jury Judge John Gleeson told them their function is to be fair and impartial and that their decision must not be based on emotions. It must be based on the evidence before them and if they are to find the defendants guilty this must be a unanimous decision.
At 17:00 hours yesterday, Justice John Gleeson adjourned the matter to today saying that the jury will continue their deliberations at 9:00 am. The jury of seven women and five men are looking at the evidence of the 13 charges faced by Simels and the nine faced by Irving.
These are a joint charge of conspiracy to tamper with witnesses; they are also jointly charge with eight counts of attempting to tamper with witnesses: jointly charged with bribery of Leslyn Comacho; jointly charged with one count each of exportation and possession of eavesdropping equipment; Simels alone faces a charge for uttering a false statement to a US Government officer.
They face a minimum of 10 years’ imprisonment.
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