US Attorneys Scream Kidnapping, Slam US, Suriname
& T&T Governments
by Philomena Robertson

Hardbeatnews , NEW YORK , N.Y.: Shaheed Roger Khan's “dream team” of U.S. attorneys is adamant that their client was kidnapped by U.S. law enforcement agents, and is questioning why the Surinamese and Trinidad & Tobago governments allowed themselves to be “bullied”.

The duo of John Bergendahl and Kenneth Weisman made the assertion during an interview with HBN yesterday.

“My client was kidnapped,” stated Bergendahl, adding there was no official extradition order by the U.S. , and charges that his client was in fact abducted by U.S law enforcement agents.

Khan, who was arrested in Suriname on June 15, was placed on a commercial flight out of Suriname under the guise of being deported to his homeland Guyana , said the Miami-based attorney.

The attorney stated that he was “met in Trinidad by representatives from U.S. law enforcement and put on a private jet to the United States without an official extradition order”.

Weisman, the other attorney added to the Khan defence team, accuses the Surinamese government of allowing itself to be bullied by the United States into denying his client a deportation hearing, which he claimed was scheduled for the same day that Khan was allegedly abducted.

Weisman also accused the governments of Suriname and Trinidad of colluding with the U.S. government.

“There was a broad conspiracy between Suriname , Trinidad and the U.S,” he told HBN yesterday.

Describing it as “really frightening”, Weisman added that the “U.S clearly has no respect for the rights of sovereign nations”.

Referring to the recent Supreme Court ruling curbing the extended power assumed by President George Bush, Weisman says the impact would be wide-ranging and could have some relevance in the Khan case.

He also notes that the Khan case should have a “chilling effect on any citizen of Trinidad , Guyana or Suriname , because their own countries will not protect them from an imperialist U.S. government”.

The defence attorney is also charging that his client was severely tortured while in custody in Suriname . He claims that Khan had a bag placed over his head for 36 hours, and that there are “visible bruises on his chest from the impact of a dumbbell”.

“He was tortured beyond what the Geneva Convention allows,” the Miami-based attorney added.

Khan, a wealthy Guyanese businessman, plans to launch an aggressive defence to counter the drug charge slapped against him.

He is accused of conspiring to import five kilos of cocaine between January 2001 and March this year. He was arraigned here last Friday on the charge of conspiracy to import cocaine into the United States .

“My client is clearly not guilty of these charges and will prove that in court,” attorney Weisman affirmed as he ended the brief interview with HBN to board a plane to New York to meet with Khan, also known as ‘Short Man'.

Bergendahl will also be in New York to meet with Khan next week. He says his client is “doing everything in his power to assist the attorneys in this case”.

One of issues up for discussion, according to the defense lawyers, will be whether to offer a bail package. Khan was remanded to custody after his arraignment two Fridays ago and is being held at the Nassau County Jail in Long Island , according to Bergendahl.

Prosecuting Attorney Michael Ramos, of the U.S. District Court of Eastern New York, says Khan “agreed to stay in custody because he did not have a bail package to offer”. But he remains mum on most aspects of the case.

Khan is set to re-appear in court on August 4 before Judge Dora L. Irizarry.

He faces a maximum of ten years in prison if convicted.

Khan also faces a 1993 firearms and drug possession charge in Vermont and is considered a fugitive from justice there.

He became Guyana 's most wanted man in March after the military reported the disappearance of 30 AK-47 rifles from a depot at army headquarters.

Raids by police and soldiers at businesses and homes controlled by Khan yielded small amounts of cocaine and illegal weapons. Khan denied having anything to do with the missing weapons.

Khan fled to Suriname where he was arrested on June 15th with three ex-Guyanese policemen bodyguards and held until his expulsion from Suriname at daybreak two Thursdays ago.

After his arrest, Suriname's Justice Minister Chan Santokhi said in Paramaribo that Guyanese and Surinamese police, along with US federal agents, had broken up a major international ring that smuggled tons of cocaine from Colombia through air drops in Guyana , then by road or river to Suriname for export to Europe and the U.S.

Khan was named as a major drug trafficker by the U.S. in its annual narcotics country report published in March.

He owns businesses ranging from discos to housing developments and carpet cleaners, and admitted in press releases to helping authorities wipe out criminal gangs that had been roaming the country in 2002-03 using “my will and own resources”.

[Editor's Note: All credit to, NY. This article was published in Guyana in Kaieteur News in Guyana.]

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