Ujaama: Material Witness or Defendant?

Lawyers for James Ujaama, being held on a material witness warrant in Virginia in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks fear the feds are misusing the process to obtain an indictment against him.

"I have a very grave concern," his attorney in Denver, Daniel Sears said. "I question whether they really want his testimony and whether this is just a vehicle to detain him, pending a determination whether they're going to return criminal charges against him."

"Ujaama is due in a federal courtroom in Alexandria today, where a federal magistrate judge is scheduled to review his detention status. Ujaama appeared before a U.S. magistrate in Denver three times before he was moved in the first week of August to Virginia. "

The outcome of the hearing in Denver was secret. However, the article today states that Sears agreed to allow Ujaama to be moved to Virginia.

"Sears regrets that he let authorities relocate his client.

"We had assurances that the return on the material witness warrant would have been accomplished over two weeks ago," said Sears, referring to Ujaama's anticipated testimony.

"I can tell you that if I knew then what I know now, with respect to what has happened to James, we would not have been so ready to accede to the Eastern District of Virginia. The environment for his release was much better, here."

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