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SDNY Judge Koeltl Ordered Press Out Of Criminal Presentment Now Issues Warrant For El Saidi

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive series

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 13 – A criminal defendant who citing anxiety did not appear in Federal court on January 13 now faces an arrest warrant. The January 13 proceeding was not on the court's calendar but was attended exclusively by Inner City Press, which previously with the same Assistant US Attorney and defense attorney was ordered out of the courtroom. More on Patreon here.

 Back on August 7, 2019 a criminal presentation with Arabic interpreter was set at 2:45 pm in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York courtroom of District Judge John G. Koeltl. Inner City Press, alerted by its sources, went into the courtroom. Soon Assistant US Attorney Robert B. Sobelman was asking Inner City Press questions.

  At 3:09 pm Judge Koeltl's acting clerk called the case as "United States versus John Doe." The defendant's lawyer, who told the US Marshals not to bring his client out of the holding cell, asked Judge Koetlt for a sidebar. Judge Koeltl, unlike Circuit Judge Richard J. Sullivan on July 26, granted the sidebar. The white noise was turned on.

  After a more than eight minute animated sidebar discussion, with the two lawyers, two clerks, the acting deputy and a court reporter,  Judge Koeltl took the bench and asked Inner City Press to leave. He said there was a compelling need for secrecy, without explaining what it was, and said that the government would provide some update about this need for secrecy -- in sixty days.

   The deputy came and indicted it was time to leave. While doing so, this reporter asked Judge Koeltl, What's the case number?

  After a pause, Judge Koeltl said replied with a number.

  But down at the PACER terminal in SDNY Press Room 480, where Inner City Press earlier on August 7 was belatedly assigned a desk, the response to this quiery was, Cannot find [that] case." More on Patreon here.

   The defendant, it was said before Inner City Press was ordered out, was arrested the night before. His defense lawyer joked with the deputy about Mad magazine's series, "Spy versus Spy." In the gallery were a half dozen camouflage dressed agents whom Judge Koeltl allowed to stay, along with a representative of pre-trial services.

Inner City Press in writing back in August asked: Is the defendant going to be released on bond? Is he - or she - a cooperator? What is the basis for this unannounced total sealing of the courtroom for a criminal presentment?

  Now in January 2019, AUSA Sobelman asked Judge Koeltl for a warrant for a "Mr. el-Saidi." But searching PACER for Sobelman's cases, he has none listed with such a defendant. Defense lawyer George Goltzer, who said his client is from Yemen, has no such client listed.

  When reference was made on January 13 to the change "status" of the case, Judge Koeltl cut off the discussion.

   Where is the accountability? Where is the transparency? Watch this site.

 Inner City Press will have more on this - see also @InnerCityPress and @SDNYLIVE. More on Patreon here.


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