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Jamal fights on

From An Phoblacht/Republican News,
17 August 1995

In an unprecedented move, a court in Philadelphia has ordered that the execution threat against Black activist Mumia Abu-Jamal be removed indefinitely, while he fights the case for a retrial. There is little doubt that this partial victory in the battle to prevent Abu-Jamal's legal lynching was made following the huge level of public pressure exerted on Philadelphia's authorities by concerned individuals and organisations worldwide.

At present, the hearing which could grant Abu-Jamal a new trial is continuing, although the judge has shown himself to be less than enamoured of the appellants case. According to defence sources, Judge Sabo has repeatedly blocked attempts to introduce evidence and, on 2 August , ordered a defence lawyer to be jailed, when she attempted to respond to his actions.

In addition, he has refused permission to admit in evidence over 700 pages of FBI files that document surveillance of Abu-Jamal by the FBI and the Philadelphia police. The documentation reveals the huge, long-standing interest of the local police and others in the activities of Abu-Jamal. Interest enough to want him stopped?

But according to Abu-Jamal's chief lawyer, the stay of execution provides reason to be cheerful. He characterised it as '"the beginning of the turning of the tide".

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