Defense Lawyer Barred from Seeing NJ-NYC Terror Suspect

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Since he was captured last Monday, Ahmad Khan Rahami, the man accused of carrying out bombings last weekend in Manhattan and on the Jersey Shore, has been hospitalized in Newark, recovering from gunshot wounds he sustained in a confrontation with the police. He has been charged by three different prosecutors: the U.S. Attorneys in Manhattan and New Jersey, for his alleged role in the bombings; and the Union County, N.J., prosecutor, for allegedly trying to kill police officers who tracked him down in Linden, N.J. A judge has ordered him held on $5.2 million bail on the state charges.

Despite the litany of charges, Rahami has not had a lawyer for almost the entire time he has been in custody, and the question of his legal representation remains unsettled, the New York Times reports. Last Thursday, Peter Liguori, a public defender in Union County, sought to meet with Rahami but was prevented by the Union County prosecutor’s office, Liguori  says. He says a prosecutor told him Rahami was “unconscious and unable to speak,” and she “would not give me permission to visit.” Usually, arrestees are taken to court promptly, informed of their rights and, if they cannot afford a lawyer, appointed one. The delay in providing Rahami a lawyer has raised concerns among legal rights advocacy groups as well as lawyers who have been seeking to represent him.

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