Sunday, June 24, 2007

Wamala seeks support for speedy trial

Disclaimer: Here at BCC Weblog, we have covered the news regarding the Wamala case since the story originally broke. For the record, it is important to note that neither the Boylston Chess Foundation, Boylston Chess Club nor Boylston Chess Club Weblog has taken any position on the guilt or innocence of Mr. Wamala in this matter.

Severine Wamala sent a letter to the Boylston Chess Foundation expressing his desire for a speedy trial, and his wish that people go to his hearing tomorrow to support his cause of stopping further postponements and getting on with the trial. Out of respect for his plea, we present below his letter to the BCF dated June 11, 2007:
Dear Boylston Chess Foundation Friends:

Today marks exactly nine months since my arrest on 9/11/2006. I have been held in jail at $1,000,000 cash bail for a crime or crimes I did not commit.

All along I have claimed my innocence and I am innocent. I have asked the court to bring me to trial so that I can be vindicated. My trial has been continued twice, first from March 2007 to June 2007 and now the June 2007 trial has also been continued.

In every instance I have asserted my right to a speedy trial, but the court has continued the case against my own objection and my lawyer's objections. I will be again in court on 6/25/07 for motions.

I should not be held in jail indefinitely without a trial. This is United States that is "supposed" to have a fair justice system NOT some third world country where people are kept in jail indefinitely without a trial.

Clearly the Hillsborough County and State of New Hampshire are violating those fundamental conceptions of justice which lie at the base of the American civil and political institutions, and which define the community's sense of fair play and decency on which the great American Constitution was founded.

My Constitutional rights are being violated. The sixth and fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States and Article 14 Part 1 of the New Hampshire Constitution guarantee the right to speedy trial. Nine months have passed by. No trial yet.

As a concerned citizen, I am kindly asking you and anyone you know (pass along the information at chess) who stands for justice to come to Nashua N.H. Superior Court on 6/25/2007 at 1:00 p.m. in support of justice.

I am hopeful that if a lot of people show up, the Court will feel the pressure to get my case to trial. If you recall, I organized chess in New England for six years, spent over half a million dollars, subsidized hotel rooms for players to stay overnight and when water ran out I physically went to hotel kitchens, lifted containers and filled the ones in the tournament room. I always try to meet people's needs. The need at hand is justice. Imagine if this was you detained for nine months for something you did not do or it was a member of your family or a loved one.

In case law, United States V. Marion 404 U.S. 307(1971) the Supreme Court articulated the concerns underlying the right to a speedy trial. It stated, "...arrest is a public act that may seriously interfere with the defendant's liberty, ... and that may disrupt his employment, drain his financial resources, curtail his associations, subject him to public obloquy and create anxiety in him, his family and friends." This is what I have been experiencing the last nine months. Please do something for justice's sake.

I will state it again, all I am asking for is to be brought to trial. Come to Nashua N.H. Superior Court on 6/25/07 at 1:00 p.m. (30 Spring Street). Your presence should make a difference.

Yours in search of justice,
Severine Wamala

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