I suggested last month that the Liberty City Seven indictment looks more and more like a made for TV event, particularly after a mistrial was declared and one of the Seven, Lyglenson Lemorin, was acquitted of all charges. Well, now Lemorin is undergoing his own little Orwellian hell.
On the day of his acquittal, the judge in the case issued an oral gag order pertaining to the upcoming retrial of the remaining six defendants.
A federal judge on Friday aired serious concerns about the possibility of jury tampering in the upcoming retrial of an alleged homegrown terrorism group and ordered that Miami-Dade jurors be selected anonymously for the high-profile case.
Her order — an edict normally seen in organized crime or major drug cases — means that potentially hundreds of Miami-Dade voters who receive jury summonses for the retrial in January will be referred to by number, not by name. Jurors’ names were known to both sides in the first trial.
The judge also ordered U.S. marshals to provide criminal background checks on all prospective jurors for both sides, and to escort those chosen for the 12-member panel to and from the courthouse in downtown Miami.
”I do find there is a strong reason to believe the jury needs protection,” Lenard said. “Here we have defendants accused of being members of a terrorist cell.”
No such precautions were taken during the first trial, which ended Dec. 13 in a mistrial for six defendants of the so-called Liberty City 7.
That’s a problem for Lemorin for two reasons: Judge Lenard extended the gag order to include him, and immediately upon being acquitted (as his objection to the gag order describes),
Lemorin was spirited away from FDC, Miami and transferred to the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, GA, by unknown government agents in the dead of night under secretive circumstances.
Apparently, the government has put Lemorin into deportation proceedings and has asserted in public documents, submitted after the gag order, that "Lemorin has liaility in uncharged criminal conduct." That claim presumably makes Lemorin subject to a PATRIOT Act provision that provides the government broad leeway in deporting those with terrorist ties.
Lemorin is a legal US resident who grew up in the US, is married, and has two kids.
Lemorin, 32, a lawful U.S. resident, remains behind bars — far from his Miami family — in the tiny town of Lumpkin, Ga., a deportation center 150 miles south of Atlanta.
On Thursday, Lemorin’s wife learned from The Miami Herald that federal authorities have charged her husband with unspecified ”administrative immigration violations” and that he has been placed in ”removal proceedings” that could lead to his deportation to his native Haiti.
”He has kids here, and we really need him home,” said Lemorin’s wife, Charlene Mingo Lemorin. “He can’t do anything for us in Haiti. Everything was settled by the jury. He was found not guilty. It’s like the nightmare is not over.”
Lemorin got to know the group’s ringleader, Narseal Batiste, by working odd jobs at his construction company and participating in his religious group, the Moorish Science Temple, which combines Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths. Batiste began talking about terrorism plans with an FBI informant, who posed as al Qaeda representative. With promises of money, the informant led Batiste and his followers deep into a terrorism plot, including taking loyalty oaths to al Qaeda in March 2006.
But Lemorin had serious reservations, later telling the FBI that he knew ”nothing good would come from this.” Indeed, in April, he moved with his future wife and two children to Atlanta to start over. He and Charlene married the following month.
`A BETTER PLACE’
Charlene said her husband got a job as a stock clerk with Abercrombie & Fitch, and she worked as a hair stylist.
”He wanted to distance himself from the group, and we wanted to pursue our business careers and a better place for our children,” said Charlene, adding that her husband wrote rap songs and wanted to break into the record business.
Their hopes were shattered when the FBI arrested him amid much publicity. ”I was very shocked,” she said.
Charlene Lemorin appears to have said almost nothing about that would not otherwise be available in public court docuements–aside from her concerns that the government is preparing to deport Lemorin to Haiti. But the government has asked the judge to chastise her even for these comments.
Gosh, you think the government doesn’t want us to know that they’re still trying to press charges from their little teevee event?