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June 16, 1978 - Image 19

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1978-06-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

U.S. States 'Concern' for Esmail;
Fleener Case Defense Questioned

WASHINGTON (JTA) —
The United States remains

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"concerned" that Michigan
State University student
Sami Esmail, an American
Arab sentenced in Tel Aviv
for membership in a ter-
rorist organization, "re-
ceived the protection of due
process of law," State De-
partment spokesman Tom
Reston said Tuesday. He
also said the U.S. "is seek-
ing confirmation that the
six months he has already
been in jail will be credited
against the 15-month sen-
tence he has been handed."
Reston said, "We will con-

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tinue to follow closely the
case of Mr. Esmail" and that
"we are in contact with his
attorney on what steps may
next be taken." Esmail, 24,
an American citizen, was
arrested last December
when he visited Israel to be
with his dying father near
Ramalla in the West Bank.
He confessed to joining the
Popular Front for the Lib-
eration of Palestine and to
having gone to Libya for
terrorist training.

(In Washington, mean-
while, the Palestine Human
Rights Campaign presented
an appeal for clemency on
Esmail's behalf to Israeli
Ambassador Simha Dinitz
and to Patricia Derian,
human rights officer at the
State Department. It was
signed by 58 prominent
academicians, religious and
civil liberties figures.)

Esmail's Communist at-
torney, Felicia Langer, has
been itharged by two inde-
pendent observers with de-
laying the case while she
raised money for his defense
fund in the U.S.

Friday, lime 16, 19111 19

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Miss Langer also de-
fended Terre Fleener of
Texas, who was con-
victed last December of
photographing Israeli
buildings and beaches
and sending the photo-
graphs to terrorist
friends.

Miss Fleener's mother,
Mary Boettcher, says,
"Upon my return from Is-
rael I presented to the news
media the facts regarding
Israel's handling of my
daughter's case as I per-
ceived them from the only
source of information I had,
my daughter's attorney,
Felicia Langer.
"Recently, certain docu-
ments have come into my
hands and certain events
have transpired that have
caused me to question my
former perceptions. I also
feel that my daughter's case
has been misused by those
who would detract from Is-
rael's position in the world
and drive a wedge between
Israel and the United
States. Neither my daugh-
ter nor I have ever wished
harm to any country or
peoples and resent being
used in this manner.

"Although I was hurt
and upset by the Sup-
reme Court's denial of
Terre's appeal, I question
if she was adequately
represented. I was told
on several separate occa-
sions by her attorney that
Terre wished to plead not
guilty but the attorney
advised her to plead
guilty. I now question the
wisdom of this.

"Although I am not an at-
torney and have not had a
legal opinion on this docu-
ment, I feel that the written
appeal lacked sufficient
strength and, indeed,
seemed more to be directed
at the competence of the
court than toward the com-
muting of Terre's sentence."

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