WE ARE A CIVILIZED AND PEACE LOVING COMMUNITY
By Abucar Yusuf H.
As you may know, Mr. Nuradin Abdi, a Columbus Somali community member has been held in jail for several years. He is accused of terrorism related issues.
In the upcoming weeks and months, starting August 6, 2007, his trial will be held at the U.S. District court in Columbus, Ohio. As in the past, the Somali community will show up their support for the family of Nuradin at the U.S. District court.
As the official spokesperson, I would like to covey to the community the appreciation and gratitude of the family of Nuradin.
The community is encouraged to show their support in a civilized and peace loving manner to create a solemn atmosphere conducive to a fair trial and proper legal procedures. It was through meetings between the local Somali community leaders and their U.S. Congress representatives and local officials that made it possible to have Nuradin brought out of “Incognito” to the open and transparent system of justice, and spared him from the infamous Guantanamo Bay secret prison. Nuradin is now in a local county jail where he is treated according to the laws of the land with his due rights as an inmate waiting for his rightful court appearance to defend himself, through his lawyer, of any accusations the government is holding against him.
On the first day of trial on August 6, 2007, the entire process will be jury selections. Court proceedings and discussions of the case are not expected to take place on that day. However, if you are interested in attending the trial process, please come early with an I.D. that has your photo on it. The courtroom has only 80 seats for the public; and these are assigned on first come first serve basis. Once the 80 seats are filled, no one from the public will be allowed to enter.
The Somali community and the Islamic community leadership have established positive channels of communications with the local law enforcement authorities and the Federal Marshals Office. Guidelines regarding the attendance to the court hearings have been forwarded by the Federal Marshal’s Office to the Somali websites for distribution to the community.
I am attaching here these guidelines:
The trial of Nuradin Abdi is scheduled for Monday August 6, 2007 in front of Judge Algenon Marbley. …
The U.S. Marshals Service, The U.S. Clerk of Court's Office, and the Federal Protective Service wish to refresh the Columbus Somali community on the security and courtroom procedures they should expect if they come to the Joseph P. Klnneary U.S. Courthouse.
SECURITY PROCEDURES at the U.S. Courthouse
All persons entering the U.S. Courthouse must submit to screening for the purpose of detecting firearms, explosives, pepper spray, Incendiary devises, knives, or any other Item prohibited by law, regulation, or court order from Introduction into these Facilities. These persons shall submit to further screening by a U.S. Marshals Service Court Security Officer if the readings of the magnetometer indicate the presence of metallic objects.
All persons entering the U.S. Courthouse who are carrying, delivering or otherwise transporting any briefcase, suitcase, package, electronic device, or any other container shall surrender such item for screening through an X-Ray machine and/or personal inspection by a Court Security Officer.
There may be a secondary screening station outside of Judge Marbley's courtroom on the third floor.
No cameras or recording devices are permitted in these Facilities. This includes cellular telephones, which are capable of taking photographs or making recordings. If the Judge has prohibited cellular telephones from the courtroom, as in the case of Mr. Abdi, all cellular telephones for persons wishing to enter the courtroom must be stored away from the courthouse.
All persons entering the U.S. Courthouse must present photo Identification, such as a driver’s license or state identification card, a passport, or other form of photo identification. The Court Security Officers will compare the photograph on the identification to the person presenting the identification. To accomplish this, all persons entering the U.S. Courthouse must allow their face to be seen by the Court Security Officers for the purpose of Identification.
The public is welcome to attend the trials and hearings held- at the federal courthouse. However, there are a limited amount of seats available for the public to view the court proceedings. Seats in the courtroom will be allotted to the public on a "first come first served" basis. Some seats will be reserved for court employees and the media. There is no overflow or extra seating available for the hearing or trial of Mr. Abdi. Once the courtroom has been filled, additional persons will be turned away. It is suggested that persons Interested in attending the trial of Mr. Abdi take turns (attend only in the mornings or afternoons) so that more persons may view the hearings.
Once the hearing has started there is no talking in the public gallery of the courtroom nor the adjoining hall. Violators of this policy may be asked to leave and be banned from future hearings. The public may not have any physical contact with Mr. Abdi while he is at the courthouse. Any visits with Mr. Abdi must take place at the Franklin County Jail, or wherever he is being held, and follow established jail guidelines.
Persons may not loiter or stand in the hallway directly outside of the courtroom, as this would create a disturbance.
Trial Length and other matters
The trial is expected to last less than one month. During this time both the attorneys for the U.S. Government and the Mr. Abdi's attorney will be allowed to call witnesses and to questions witnesses against them.
The above guidelines and additional information may be obtained from the Somali community mosques, the Islamic centers and community organizations and websites.
Abucar Yusuf H, Nuradin family spokesperson