The NYT reveals that the lawyer for Manssor Arbabsiar has suggested she will challenge the voluntary nature of Arbabsiar’s 12 days of waiving his Miranda rights.
Mr. Arbabsiar’s lawyer, Sabrina Shroff, said in a recent interview that she intended to seek a hearing on whether the “consent was freely given, or whether it was unlawfully extracted,” given the gap in time between her client’s arrest and his initial court appearance on Oct. 11.”There has to be a deep concern about the voluntariness of consent to that long a period of detention,” she said.
Her comments provide an early look at the defense’s legal strategy in a case that has gained widespread attention because of questions over Iran’s alleged role, and because of the wealth of information that prosecutors said they obtained from Mr. Arbabsiar after he waived his Miranda rights.
The interrogation of Mr. Arbabsiar was cited in a sealed, four-page letter that the office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, sent to the court on Oct. 6, while questioning was under way. The letter said Mr. Arbabsiar had “without counsel, knowingly and voluntarily waived his Miranda rights and his right to a speedy presentment” each day, and had signed waivers to that effect.
The letter, now public, described how agents were “vigorously and expeditiously pursuing leads relating to the defendant’s statements,” and said “regular access” to Mr. Arbabsiar had allowed them “to promptly verify with him the accuracy of information developed in the investigation.”
The story led me to check the docket, only to discover they’ve unsealed Arbabsiar’s first complaint. I’ll have much more to say about the unsealed complaint (including the weaknesses it shows in the US case that this was an attack primarily directed against the US).
But for now, the complaint suggests one means they used to coerce a man who had insisted on legal representation in at least four prior brushes with the law to waive his Miranda rights in a case that risks putting him away for life: by threatening to take action against his brother.