Inner City Press

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYTAzerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

Share |   

Follow on TWITTER

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube

More: InnerCityPro
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

SDNY Grand Jury Probe of 2017-20 Had Balde Dismissal Nixed Now Not Guilty at SDNY Trial

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive, Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 13 – On a legal call designed to give defense counsel information about White Plains grand juries in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, live tweeted by Inner City Press, it emerged that a grand jury has "met" in the SDNY in Manhattan in the last week.

Apparently, some grand jurors participated by video.

 This seems noteworthy, given for example that in March allowing a single juror in the US v. Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad trial to deliberate by video required the defendant's consent. Why not this? Below is the blow by blow, then background on one of the underlying cases, US v. Balde (there is also US v. Schulte, and other cases).

 On August 27, in the lead Balde case, "Defendant did not receive the expected production from the Jury Administrator."

  On May 17, 2021, Judge Failla held a proceeding in Balde, and Inner City Press covered it. It was to read out loud her decision, which was to deny Balde's motion to dismiss back on the use of the White Plains grand jury.

She called it a serious question, but noted for example a decision from the Northern District of New York, that it was OK to move a trial for a crime in Syracuse to less diverse Utica.

She said there is no right to a grand jury in the division of the SDNY a crime in committed in, and that COVID meant these was no prosecutorial gamesmanship. She mentioned Shulte, Tagliaferro and other cases.

On January 26, 2022, with one of Balde's Federal Defenders appointed as an SDNY Magistrate Judge so another another the case, the Federal Defenders filed motions in limine to, among other things, preclude the US from using emails and calls Balde made and sent from jail, citing spousal privilege and the presumption of innocence. 

 On February 17 Judge Failla held another proceeding, and Inner City Press again covered it. Judge Failla said she was focused on the case, as the (SEC) trial she had been presiding over had and the day before (Inner City Press covered that too, here.). Judge Failla said this US v. Balde case is on.

But: "Defendant's motion for a mistrial is GRANTED; trial is concluded and jury dismissed. By 2/28/2022, the parties shall submit a joint letter with a proposed briefing schedule."

On March 4, this: "ORDER as to Souleymane Balde: The Clerk's Office has notified the Court that this case has been placed on the jury trial list for May 17, 2022. The case is second on the list for jury trials for that day, so it is likely that the case will receive a jury panel on that date. The case must therefore be trial-ready for that date. (Ready for Trial by 5/17/2022) (Signed by Judge Katherine Polk Failla on 3/4/2022)." 

On March 7, the Federal Defenders asked Judge Failla to dismiss the case, noting prosecutors behavior leading to the mistrial and the 23 months already served by Balde.

On April 20, Judge Failla issued an oral ruling, and Inner City Press called in to hear it. Balde's motion to dismiss the indictment was denied, although Judge Failla did say that the US Attorney's Office opening had gone close to the line of her rulings on motions in limine. She acknowledged the discrepancies between witness Ayman Hamad's state and now Federal testimony but said it did not meet the high burden for dismissing an indictment.

In the run-up, Balde's Federal Defenders made a motion to dismiss, citing the Second Amendment and (as other defendants Inner City Press has reported on have) NYS Rifle & Pistol Ass'n, inc. v. Bruen, 142 S. Ct. 2111 (2020).

On December 19 Judge Failla held a proceeding, which Inner City Press covered, in which she reviewed the arguments, including another courts consideration of Bruen and whom the Second Amendment applies to. Citing Balde's immigration (non) status, and keeping the decision narrow, Judge Failla denied the motion to dismiss.

On January 13, 2023, after the trial held in Courtroom 318 (Inner City Press was in and out, amid the ongoing Saipov death penalty trial), the jury found Balde NOT GUILTY after some questions about parole and supervision. Judge Failla replied it was a "dispute question of fact that you are being asked to decide." And they did: Not Guilty.

  The case is US v. Balde, 20-cr-281 (Failla).


Your support means a lot. As little as $5 a month helps keep us going and grants you access to exclusive bonus material on our Patreon page. Click here to become a patron.


Feedback: Editorial [at]
SDNY Press Room 480, front cubicle
500 Pearl Street, NY NY 10007 USA

Mail: Box 20047, Dag Hammarskjold Station NY NY 10017

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

 Copyright 2006-2020 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]