Prosecutors in Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’ office routinely arrested witnesses and held them against their will in locked hotel rooms to force them into testifying, charges a lawsuit reported by the New York Daily News. The attorney for Jabbar Collins, who spent 15 years in prison for murdering a Brooklyn rabbi until he was ordered free by a federal judge, has uncovered what he believes is new evidence of widespread prosecutorial misconduct in the 1990s.
“Hynes' office was running a private jail system where witnesses were illegally interrogated and forcibly detained indefinitely,” charged lawyer Joel Rudin in court papers filed in connection with Collins’ $150 million wrongful conviction lawsuit. Rudin cites the deposition of a former investigator in the D.A.'s office who described the practice of using warrants to arrest witnesses and stashing uncooperative ones in hotel rooms to make sure they don't disappear. “There are circumstances where the person will say, 'I'm not coming. No way.' And then [ ] we would immediately handcuff them and take them away,” said Christopher Salsarulo, now a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent, according to a transcript of his deposition.