Liberally Conservative

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free....... ~Ronald Reagan~

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Tampering with Duke LaCrosse Defense Witness

A Durham police detective investigating the Duke University lacrosse case arrested an alibi witness Wednesday on a 2 1/2-year-old misdemeanor warrant. Taxi driver Moezeldin Elmostafa said Investigator R.D. Clayton and another officer asked whether he had anything new to tell them about the rape case before driving him to the Durham County jail. "The detective asked if I had anything new to say about the lacrosse case," Elmostafa said. "When I said no, they took me to the magistrate." He was held for five hours, until a friend posted his bail on a shoplifting charge. Ernest Conner, a Greenville lawyer who represents defendant Reade Seligmann, said the cabbie's arrest amounted to intimidation. "It appears to me they are trying to pressure a witness who supports our defendant's rock-solid alibi," Conner said. Elmostafa signed a sworn statement in April saying he picked up Seligmann from a Duke lacrosse team party just after midnight March 14. Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, the supervisor of the investigation, refused to answer questions Wednesday night.
What past crime did the taxi driver actually commit? Elmostafa was charged with a misdemeanor larceny that occurred Sept. 2, 2003, when a woman stole five purses worth $250 from the Hecht's department store at Northgate Mall.
Elmostafa said that he had picked up Lisa Faye Hawkins and her daughter at their home and had taken them to the mall. Elmostafa said he waited in the taxi with the daughter while Hawkins shopped and then he drove the two home. xxx Elmostafa said he later received a call asking him to speak with Hecht's security. The security officer at Hecht's said Hawkins had stolen some purses before getting into the taxi, Elmostafa said. xxx Elmostafa said he gave the woman's address and a copy of his driver's license to the security guard, who thanked him for his help. The driver was arrested for an alleged crime, he did not commit, two years after the crime was committed by another person.
On the surface this looks like police intimidation, coercion and tampering with a witness.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is common for minor warrants to be served the next time the person has contact with law enforcement.

A warrant issued has to be served. In fact, the prosecution would want warrants for its own witnesses handled before a case goes to trial.

All the cabbie has to do is go in there and tell his story and that's the end of it (and he did that). Sometimes, things are simple.

If the Duke boys are innocent then each one should come forward, just say so, prove so, and stop bullying the DA and alleged victim instead. That's where their side of this thing looks so wrong.

5/13/2006 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Liberally Conservative said...

I'm sure where Duke LaCrosse players are not coming forward or bullying the alleged victim.

Their pictures are on the TV daily and in papers. The have not received due process of law and now the prosecuter may not hold trial until next year.

5/14/2006 08:36:00 AM  

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