Philadelphia. Attorneys for death row journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal today asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to order Mumia's prior Chief Counsel, Leonard Weinglass, to answer under oath 112 questions concerning charges that he was responsible for the "intentional burying of evidence that proves Appellant Jamal's 'actual innocence' of the crime of which he has been convicted."
Mumia's attorneys charge in their 43-page motion that conflicts of interest on the part of Mr. Weinglass were responsible for his "intentionally failing to raise numerous meritorious claims" that Mumia was deprived of a fair trial, fair appeal and fair post-conviction proceedings. Mumia's attorneys also charge that Weinglass "intentionally sabotaged" claims for relief that he did present.
The motion, filed today in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, includes a 20-page "Offer of Proof" which sets forth 112 questions to be asked of Mr. Weinglass and which Mumia's attorneys contend should all be answered "yes" if Weinglass tells the truth.
The motion also sets forth 15 specific charges against Weinglass, including refusing to investigate evidence proving Mumia's innocence, burying the 1999 confession of Arnold Beverly to the murder of Police Officer Daniel Faulkner (the crime for which Mumia was convicted and sentenced to death), and suppressing the 1995 recantation of prosecution witness Robert Chobert (one of only 2 witnesses at Mumia's trial who claimed to have seen him shoot the police officer).
In their motion Mumia's attorneys refer the state supreme court to numerous documents and sworn witness statements they previously filed in the lower court proceedings, but which they say were ignored by Court of Common Pleas Judge Pamela Dembe who denied their request for a full hearing.
Mumia and his attorneys are now awaiting the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision as to whether they will allow Mr.Weinglass to answer to the charges placed against him.
A copy of the 43-page Motion and Offer of Proof is attached to this Press Release in MSW.
Award-winning journalist and author Mumia Abu-Jamal holds a Master of Arts degree in Humanities from California State University and was named an honorary citizen of Paris, France, an honor last granted to renowned artist Pablo Picasso. He is represented by London barrister Nick Brown, Chicago attorney Marlene Kamish, Los Angeles attorney Eliot Lee Grossman, and local Philadelphia counsel J. Michael Farrell.
For more information contact: Eliot Lee Grossman, Esq. (626) 943-1945