September 27, 2016 3:02:30 am
The American Civil Liberties Union on Monday began representing a man accused of setting off bombs in New York and New Jersey and injuring more than 30 people. A lawyer for the organization’s New Jersey chapter entered a notice of appearance in Ahmad Khan Rahami’s case in federal court in Newark. Rahami has been hospitalized since he was caught following a shootout with police in Linden last week. He has not made an initial court appearance.
Prosecutors said in a filing last week that he had been incapacitated and intubated since undergoing surgery for his wounds. A spokesman for the US attorney’s office did not have an updated condition available on Monday.
Federal judges last week denied requests by public defenders to be appointed to represent Rahami, agreeing with prosecutors’ arguments that he had not officially been arrested by federal authorities.
Rahami, an Afghan-born US citizen, has been accused of detonating a pipe bomb in a New Jersey shore town and a pressure cooker bomb in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood on Sept. 17. Thirty-one people were injured in the New York blast. A second pressure cooker bomb didn’t explode.
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ACLU attorney Alexander Shalom said in a filing that Rahami’s father and wife requested the ACLU represent him until he is appointed a federal public defender or other lawyer.
Rahami was charged by federal prosecutors in both states and faces state charges in New Jersey in connection with the shootout. Two officers involved in the shootout were treated for minor injuries.
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