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
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
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
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
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
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 Hardbeatnews.com,
NY. This article was published in Guyana in Kaieteur News