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From wwnews-report@wwpublish.com Mon Jul 22 19:00:04 2002
Sender: <wwnews@wwpublish.com> (WW News Service)
To: <wwnews@wwpublish.com> (WW News Service)
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Subject: wwnews Digest #475
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 18:32:11 -0400

Legal team vows to fight on: No proof of guilt, but Peltier parole denied

By Leslie Feinberg, Workers World, Monday 22 July 2002

. . . The killing of FBI agents at Pine Ridge was reprehensible, but the government now admits that it cannot prove that Mr. Peltier killed the agents.
Congressman Don Edwards,
former FBI agent

FBI big-wigs, court rulings and government officials have all confessed that they don't have the foggiest notion of who shot two FBI agents during a government shootout on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota 27 years ago.

Yet a hearing officer denied American Indian Movement warrior Leonard Peltier parole on June 9. Peltier is imprisoned at Leavenworth, Kan., serving two consecutive life sentences for the shootings.

The Leonard Peltier Defense Committee organized rallies on the anniversary of the FBI shootout, June 26, to focus attention on the FBI, its history of suppressing dissent and violating citizens' constitutional rights, and recent revelations of investigatory misconduct that has caused the wrongful conviction and incarceration of many.

Events were held on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota as well as San Diego; San Francisco; Houston; Denver; New York; Boston; Portland, Ore.; and Carbondale, Ill. Rallies were also scheduled in London, Paris, Brussels, and Offenbach am Main, Germany.

The next date for a full parole hearing is not until 2008. Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark vowed to work for Peltier's release before that date. Clark and Washington- D.C.-based attorney Carl Nadler argued on Peltier's behalf at the recent hearing.

Clark blasted the denial of parole. Leonard Peltier is the longest-serving prisoner from the Indian wars and they admit they didn't prove who shot the agents. (Leavenworth Times, July 11)

Clark expressed optimism about the recent release of 30,000 pages of documents--11 full boxes--that the LPDC wrested from the FBI using the fulcrum of the Freedom of Information Act.

The LPDC Web site says there is more information it wants to get released: While these documents represent the extent of what the FBI claims it had in their headquarters, there are still many more documents in the 56 field offices. The Minneapolis field office reports 42,000 pages in Leonard's file, and an FBI agent assigned to FOIA issues in Washington says the volume may near 100,000 pages. The goal is to vigorously pursue full declassification of all the documents, which will likely involve legal challenges to delays in release and to the extent of redactions, or 'blacking out' of information.

Denis Moynihan, acting coordinator for the LPDC, said that several of Peltier's lawyers and supporters planned a working weekend starting July 20 to scrutinize these freshly released papers.

Why is Peltier still behind bars? To find out how to amplify the question, and to help win his release, contact the International Office of the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, P.O. Box 583, Lawrence, KS, 66044; call (785) 842-5774 or e-mail lpdc@freepeltier.org.