Family, Supporters Ask to Have Lodi Terror Suspect Released after Conviction Overturned

Hamid Hayat’s sister Raheela Weeps at microphone (photo courtesy CAIR-Sacramento Valley)

By Crescenzo Vellucci
Vanguard Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO – Several dozen family and friends wore looks of relief mixed with grim determination here Wednesday at a U.S. Courthouse news conference to mark a federal judge’s decision to overturn the conviction of Hamid Hayat, sentenced to 24 years for alleged terrorist activity in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy and anti-Muslim sentiment.

There was virtually no talk of the prejudice Muslims faced during that time – and even now – but it was, in effect, the proverbial “elephant in the room.”

U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell, Jr., Tuesday vacated Hayat’s 2006 sentence – he’s been in jail for 14 years – after he and other federal judges determined the young Lodi cherry picker did not have fair representation at trial, and, in fact, may have had a solid alibi to support the claim that he was no part of the supposed dangerous “sleeper” terrorist cell based just south of Sacramento.

Family members Wednesday were hopeful that Hayat would be released as soon as Thursday – his lawyers said they filed for immediate release of Hayat on his own recognizance whether or not the U.S. Attorney decides to appeal Burrell’s decision.

“We are overjoyed with the decision; we’ve been working 13 years on this,” said Layli Shirani, one of the five U.S.-based lawyers on the case. She later said a team of lawyers, journalists and others were similarly engaged in Pakistan.

Shirani suggested she and the legal team were a little surprised that Burrell made his decision so quickly, only months after an earlier magistrate decision.

“We now all just want to turn the page and bring him (Hayat) home. We’re asking for his immediate release,” she said.

The court agreed with the defense team that the Hayat’s original attorney was so inexperienced he could not possibly have had a fair trial.

More than a dozen witnesses swore Hayat – accused of attending a terrorist training camp while he was visiting Pakistan – was in the U.S. at the time. Those witnesses were never called to testify.

Evidence that the terror camp was, in fact, closed during that time Hayat supposedly visited the terror camp was also withheld from the jury. Family maintained that he did go to Pakistan, but it was related to his mother’s health needs.

“Hamid has 14 years lost, behind bars. We ask U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott and the Department of Justice to show mercy and allow this young man to be released.” said Council on American-Islamic Relations Sacramento Valley (CAIR-SV) Executive Director Basim Elkarra.

Earlier this week, Elkarra briefly addressed the political side of the story.

“At the time of Hamid’s case, the prosecution took advantage of anti-Muslim, post-9/11 bias to convict an innocent man. And this much-needed good news comes at a time when Islamophobia and bigotry as a whole (are) on the rise,” he said.

But Scott, in a statement, did not signal Wednesday he was about to give up on the case that he personally oversaw which led to the conviction of then 22-year-old Hayat. Scott’s office has fought the appeals since 2006, including claims that the FBI coerced a confession and relied too much on an informant.

“Nothing in the decision calls into question the government’s conduct in prosecuting the defendant, and we stand by that prosecution in all respects. We are in the process of reviewing our options in accordance with DOJ policies and procedures. In the meantime, Hayat’s continued detention is a determination to be made by the court,” said Scott.

“We respect the decision of the court in this case (but) (t)hat decision related only to the effectiveness of defendant’s counsel – a privately retained lawyer of Hayat’s own choosing who was found by CAIR for him – and it did not determine the question of the defendant’s guilt or innocence,” he said.

Hayat’s family displayed the raw emotion of a family that had been traumatized by the loss of a loved one.

“I just want my brother back home. He’s been innocent for a long time. I want my brother back,” said Raheela Hyatt, the sister of Hamid Hayat. She wept quietly in front of the microphones Wednesday, admitting that she and her brother were “both crying” over the phone at the news, and that he was “already packing.”

Tuesday, lead attorney for Hayat, Dennis Riordan, noted, “The court’s decision today correctly finds that Hamid was deprived of a fair trial by the failings of his inexperienced counsel, but it does much more than that. Two federal judges have found credible the testimony of multiple witnesses that Hamid could not have committed the crimes of which he was accused. That is effectively a finding of actual innocence,” said Riordan.

And Hayat’s family said in a prepared statement Tuesday, “We have been waiting 14 long years for Hamid to be freed. Hamid cannot get those 14 years of his life back, but we are relieved to see the case take such a big step forward. We miss him and hope to be reunited with him soon. We are so grateful to Hamid’s legal team, to the community and to CAIR-Sacramento Valley for their unfailing support over the years. We hope no other family has to endure this pain and sense of helplessness.”

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  1. Jerry Waszczuk

    Jaroslaw Waszczuk v. IRS Commissioner   Docket No. 23105   -18 W
     By this Reply, Petitioner respectfully informs the Court that he is unwilling to withdraw his June 3, 2019 Opposition to the Respondent and will not certify, and the Court should deny Respondent’s aforementioned motion.
    While former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is still in charge of the University of California Office of the President (UCOP), and while attorney McGregor Scott, re-appointed by Napolitano, is still in charge of the Eastern District of California U.S. Attorney’s office, the withdrawal of my opposition to the Motion For Protective Order is out of the question.
    The climate surrounding Petitioner’s whistleblower claim is not promising, and Petitioner is not sure how it will go. Petitioner assumes that Hon. Robert N. Armen noticed in the Petitioner’s Opposition the copy of the University of California Davis Police’s September 2012 poster portraying Petitioner in a similar way as the FBI portrays its “Most Wanted Terrorist.” 
    The Lodi Resident Hamid Hayat Prosecuted by Janet Napolitano’s Friend, U.S. Attorney McGregor William Scott
    “The most severe example in this chain of events involves Hamid Hayat, the cherry picker from Lodi, CA. In October 2001, a month after the 9/11/2001 terrorist attack, Hayat was chosen by someone to be converted into a terrorist by an FBI hired and paid informer with a criminal past. Why Lodi, California? This question should be addressed to the former U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of California and the FBI Director Robert Mueller and his former subordinate, former FBI employee John Lohse and U.S. Attorney from the Eastern District of California, McGregor William Scott, who prosecuted Hayat and cashed a $500,000 check from Janet Napolitano in 2016.”
    Hamid Hayat’s Incarceration and Judge Tashima’s Dissent Opinion
    Hayat   received a 24-year prison sentence that destroyed him and his family. It was perfectly described by Hon. A. Wallace Tashima in his dissent opinion in the United States Court of Appeals Opinion filed on March 13, 2013 in Case No. D.C. CR-05-00240-GEB, USA v. Hamid Hayat, Opinion No. 07-10457.
    Judge Tashima perfectly understood that Hamid Hayat was sent to prison for 24 years for the same reason that Judge Tashima as a child, his family, and thousands of other Japanese-Americans were forced into internment camps during World War II by the American government. Because Petitioner  too, was forced into an internment camp by the communist Polish government in 1981, I am sharing my feelings for Judge Tashima’s dissent opinion that viewed the brutal punishment of Hamid Hayat and the destruction of his family as a Soviet Union-era prosecution and “Show Trial.”
    Petitioner  noticed that the opinion was filed almost four years after the case was argued on appeal on June 10, 2009. The Ninth Circuit Judge Hon. A. Wallace Tashima sharply disagreed with  two other Circuit Judges the Janet Napolitano old friend from Arizona Judge Mary M. Schroeder  and Judge Judge Berzon from San Francisco who denied freedom to Hayat. Judge Tashima expressed his feeling about Hayat’s prosecution and incarceration with words: 
    “This case is a stark demonstration of the unsettling and untoward consequences of the government’s use of anticipatory prosecution as a weapon in the ‘war on terrorism.’”
    Judge Tashima on appeal recognized the problem in Hamid Hayat’s case and basically stated in his dissent opinion that the case was a total hoax fabricated by government agents. Judge Tashima recognized that Hayat became a sacrificial lamb and that his 24-year prison term delivered by Judge Garland E. Burrell on September 10, 2007 (Hayat’s 25th birthday) had a different purpose other than to serve justice.
    Hamid Hayat in 2001–2007 was the most vulnerable subject of the FBI that FBI could find in the western Hemisphere that was preyed on by U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Robert Mueller , Melinda Haag , McGregor  Scott made Hayat a “scare crow” and “sacrifice lamb” to divert public attention from the resurfacing crimes and white collar criminals  in the state and federal courts in relation to the   enormous and very sophisticated scheme of fraud titled “ California Energy Crisis  . It was  NO  Al-Qaeda terrorist network sleeper cells in our Lodi  communities and neighborhoods. It was a completely different reason to frame and prosecute a 19-year-old cherry picker from Lodi and present his prosecution and the destruction of him and his family to the entire U.S. population and the world. If any Al-Qaeda terrorist network sleeper cells could  be found in California that it would  be the  UC Office of the President in Oakland , CA ,  UC Davis  and UC San Diego campus. 
    It is still a puzzle whether Assemblymen Phil Ting and Kevin McCarty, by ordering the State Audit, prevented Napolitano from using the $175,000,000 of dirty cash to possibly orchestrate a new 9/11 terrorist attack or to assassinate Donald Trump on the Presidential campaign trail in 2016.
     Janet Napolitano’s appointment as U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security in January 2009 and her appointment to UC President Post in September 2013 emboldened the UC white collar criminals  to intensify their  terror aimed at their  adversaries without  any hesitation to kill people if needed .
     In light of the presented facts outlined in Petitioner’s opposition and in this Reply, Petitioner is praying that the relief sought by Respondent in the Motion for Protective Order shall be denied by the U.S. Tax Court to Respondent.

  2. Jerry Waszczuk


    HAMID HAYAT  2005  –





    IM Docket No. 23105-18W.



    Pending in this whistleblower case is respondent’s Motion For Protective Order Pursuant To Rule 103, filed May 15, 2019, to which petitioner filed an Opposition on June 3, 2019. Thereafter, as relevant, by Order dated July 9, 2019, the Court explained in detail to petitioner what was at stake with respondent’s motion and directed petitioner to advise the Court whether petitioner wished to withdraw his June 3, 2019 Opposition to respondent’s motion and certify that he would abide by a Court order granting such motion; or whether petitioner would not withdraw his Opposition and not so certify, in which latter case the Court would most likely deny respondent’s motion and petitioner would be obliged to face the potential consequences insofar as his whistleblower case is concerned.

    On July 29, 2019, petitioner filed a Reply to the Court’s July 9, 2019 Order. Although such Reply is lengthy, petitioner clearly states that “he is unwilling to withdraw his June 3, 2019 Opposition to the Respondent and will not certify, and the Court should deny Respondent’s aforementioned motion.” Petitioner makes clear that he continues to oppose the granting of respondent’s motion “regardless of the consequences and fate of his whistleblower claim.” Petitioner concludes his July 29, 2019 Reply by “praying that the relief sought by Respondent in the Motion for Protective Order shall be denied by the U.S. Tax Court to Respondent.”

    SERVED Jul 31 2019


    Premises considered, and consistent with the Court’s July 9, 2019 Order, it is hereby

    ORDERED that respondent’s Motion For Protective Order Pursuant To Rule 103, filed May 15, 2019, is denied.

    (Signed) Robert N. Armen Special Trial Judge

    Dated: Washington, D.C. July 31, 2019


  3. Craig Ross

    The way I understand this is that McGregor Scott decided that these guys in Lodi were terror suspects, threw the book at them and got convictions.  But in reality there is no evidence that they had any ties to terror at all.  Glad we hired this guy to do the Picnic Day investigation.

    1. Jerry Waszczuk

      In 2001 McGregor Scott did not work in U.S Attorney Office .  This is was a   Robert Mueller ‘s  and few others call .  If I would not live in Lodi in 2001 than would be no Hamid Hayat’s  terror case .  This just a small part of the story .  This story is about money , big money  and  about the  UCOP  Mafia . . This is not a picnic day investigation.In last 5 years I am representing myself in three different courts.

        1. Jerry Waszczuk

          The show started in October   2001 just after Mueller  was appointed FBI Director by Bush and just after 9/11 attack.  Mueller , Napolitano friend from Arizona John Lohse , FBI guy from Bay area recruited in 2004  by UCOP mafia and of course Melinda Haag who  worked in 1998-2001 with Mueller in U.S Attorney office in SF , She was  re-appointed  in 2010 by  Boxer nomination to prosecute Leland Yee who in May 2010 got into John Lohse’s  friends .  Lohse surfaced in my case in 2012  and I was  honored with UC Davis Police  Most Wanted Terrorist Poster . Mafia

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