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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Prosecutorial Misconduct and Corruption of Justice

Vindicated, but Still Not Freed From Court’s Injustice
The New York Times by MICHAEL POWELL - March 25, 2009

He has lived in the shadow of this monster for 21 years, serving time in a maximum security prison, and — even after his conviction was overturned and he was released in 1992 — carrying the taint that comes with being accused of child abuse. This week, the State Court of Claims recognized his decades of suffering and awarded him a large settlement. But he still has not seen his daughter, and so he has not fully regained his former life. Amine Baba-Ali, a father wrongly convicted of raping and molesting his 4-year-old daughter, is the first person ever held by a state court to have satisfied every facet of the unjust-conviction law that he sued New York State under, according to the court’s decision. His lawyers proved that the Queens district attorney’s office fraudulently prosecuted him for a crime he did not commit. The court awarded him $2,093,428.

But Mr. Baba-Ali, 52, cannot shake the sense that this case will haunt him for a lifetime, not least because his daughter, now 26, was forever removed from him once he was convicted. He has not seen her for two decades, and has no idea where she is living. “Though I am thankful, the fact of the matter is that I’ve lost my daughter,” Mr. Baba-Ali said in an telephone interview from his Manhattan apartment on Tuesday. “I’ve lost the most important part of my life.” The state attorney general’s office, which represented the state in Mr. Baba-Ali’s lawsuit, said it was examining the judgment closely and could appeal it. Mr. Baba-Ali and his lawyer, Peter Wessel, fought his conviction for 20 years, beginning when Mr. Baba-Ali was in an 8-by-10-foot prison cell in the Catskills.

In the late 1980s, in the midst of a nasty divorce, Mr. Baba-Ali’s wife had accused him of raping their daughter during a custody visit at his Queens apartment. At nearly every turn, Mr. Baba-Ali’s case became a study in the miscarriage of justice, according to the Court of Claims. Under District Attorney John J. Santucci, Queens prosecutors obtained an indictment of Mr. Baba-Ali in 1988 on charges of rape, molestation and incest, and he was convicted in November 1989. But prosecutors ignored medical evidence that appeared to prove his innocence, then failed to disclose it to the defense until a few days before the trial, the courts have said. The conviction of Mr. Baba-Ali, Judge Melvin L. Schweitzer of the Court of Claims wrote in his decision, released on Monday, “was procured by prosecutorial misconduct that was tantamount to fraud.”

The assistant district attorney who tried the case, Elizabeth Loconsolo, is now a deputy attorney for the Nassau County comptroller. She said on Tuesday that she has no second thoughts about her actions in the case. Dr. Nadine Sabbagh, then a city health department employee, was the chief medical witness against Mr. Baba-Ali during his trial. She claimed to have found evidence that Mr. Baba-Ali had raped his daughter multiple times, breaking her hymen. Her testimony was essential in gaining a conviction and a prison term of 8 1/3 to 25 years.

Mr. Baba-Ali also suffered from poor representation by a court-appointed public defender, who failed to subpoena two doctors who would have testified that their earlier examinations of the girl found no evidence of sexual abuse, according to a state appeals court, which overturned his conviction in 1992, and ordered a retrial. That lawyer was later barred from the public defender’s program. Before deciding whether to retry Mr. Baba-Ali, Queens prosecutors asked a doctor at a New York hospital to conduct a second examination. That doctor found that the child’s hymen was intact and saw no evidence of abuse, the Court of Claims said in its decision. Prosecutors quickly dropped the case.

Judge Schweitzer was scathing about Dr. Sabbagh’s testimony: “The only witness who provided evidence of such abuse had lied, and in fact there was no credible evidence his daughter had ever been molested.” Dr. Sabbagh is now in private practice in Queens; a call placed to her office Tuesday afternoon was not returned. Mr. Baba-Ali said his time in a maximum security state prison continues to haunt him: He stayed in his apartment for many weeks after his release from prison. A book editor and a translator before his conviction, he now works as a supervisor for a car parking concession. Mr. Baba-Ali, who has remarried, lives with the knowledge of something else: no matter how many judges declare him flatly and unequivocally innocent, he will remain shadowed by child abuse charges for the rest of his life. As the Court of Claims noted in its decision, the Census Bureau turned him down for a job because of the conviction.

And despite a ruling in his favor in Family Court, he never succeeded in seeing his daughter again. Her court-appointed law guardian reported back, after all those years and accusations, that his daughter no longer wanted to see him. Judge Schweitzer’s decision is nearly poetic in its description of loss. “For claimant’s mental anguish and degradation occasioned by being labeled a child molester of his 4-year-old daughter; for the irretrievable loss of his relationship with his daughter promixately caused by his conviction; for his loss of liberty into the most fearsome maximum security prison environment that an innocent man may be thrust,” the judge said, he was awarding him $2 million.


Anonymous said...

I am sick to my stomach from reading this story. The federal government MUST do something.

Another Victim said...

What ???????? This is the first person ever held by a state court to have satisfied every facet of the unjust-conviction law ??? I find that incredible.

My case satisfies every facet of the law and I expect the Attorney General to admit it....not appeal it.

And 'we' cannot possibly be the only ones

Anonymous said...

To another victim, Saint Andrew is the Patron Saint of crooked lawyers and judges and that is where he does his duty. Is Saint Andrew prosecuting any corrupt judges? Why did Saint Andrew not settle this case and give justice to this poor man?

Anonymous said...

Just a question to all...who in the Federal Government are we requesting to investigate and prosecute this rampant NY State Judicial Corruption, Mafia strong arm silencing activities, Criminal Conspiracies, Bribery, Perjury and Slander/ Defamation actions..... to name a few..and all backed up with massive written documentation and amazingly filed in Federal Court..accessible to all of the Media and Federal Judiciary!

I see no "Federal" agency reading this blog for years....requesting proof or desire to restore Judicial Integrity!

Who then are these Feds being requested on this blog daily.... to come quickly to help correct our devasated and crooked law and order Black Robes... with some new and undefined REFORM? Isn't the reform really the need to have our system act the way it was originally designed to.... per the United States constitution and the oath ceremoniously taken on a BIBLE...when these men and women where accepting their Judicial positions?

I'll wait for that information, because the.... bring in the 'Fed" request appears to have fallen on deaf or freightened ears!

Anonymous said...

The answer is that there is no law, the whole thing is a fraud

Anonymous said...

sounds like a few cases from the hudson valley region! horrible the level of corruption and cover ups!

Anonymous said...

Uh...I can't think of anybody else...bring in the feds??? I'll take the postal supervisors or IRS workers, if no one else answers. At least they are above the state in civil service and know how to treat you like crap!

Anonymous said...

And the common theme is that the dishonest people are all lawyers. Am I the only one to see this!

Anonymous said...

to Commenter No. 4 above talking about "mafia strong arming silencing activities" your Questions and Thoughts are shared by many. Please write to

Anonymous said...

Andrew Cuomo, You can act to have the license of the perjuring doctor removed. What are you waiting for? Scum like that deserves no mercy.

Anonymous said...

Why do people succumb to "mafia style" silencing or other bully techniques used? Why not fight them? Why not stand up to them? Why not speak out against them? What changes do you expect if each individual doesn't do his/her part in reform and the obliteration of corruption? STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS! FIGHT FOR CHANGE AND TRUE JUSTICE!

Anonymous said...

People speak out, but the media doesn't cover them. It's not because it is unworthy, but because the media has an agenda. To Anonymous #11, Such stories would sell papers,or bring viewers; so the motive is not monetary. The media wants you to have faith in the system and that with the right judges, justice would prevail. This myth is always disproved generation after generation. Give absolute power to judges and they'll be honorable and ethical. If you believe this, I have leases available on various bridges.

Anonymous said...

Since I made the Mafia comment, I will tell you why so many do not come forward.
1) OCA will fire you and eliminate any source of income or home, you have to support yourself and FAMILY!...and enjoy doing it.
2)They will wiretap your home illegally and no police dept or DA will handle it..because OCA has handledd them!
3) They will obtain illegal subpoenas for your bank accounts and those you do not even have, while hiring state employees to stalk your daily moves.
4)They will attempt tp kill you while driving..using a speeding car driven by a state corretions officer...whose plate number is recorded.
5) They will drive to you home ,using disturbed female court employees who will jam 3 spikes into your brand new $120 SUV tires, while it sits in your suburban driveway at she is then seen driving away, back to her city hovel at 9:00PM.
6)All of this is documented and given to the local newspaper, the federal court and the local police dept...but the chief of that local police dept retired last year and became OCA'S head of security. What OCA doesn't know is that this back stabbing new employee grew up with me and was my little brother's best friend for years, as well as my brother dating his sister (prom and all) and my parents were his parents friends. Big money will always buy cowards!

So I have done whatever it takes to fight OCA using sources they could never imagine...and federal court just permits delay after they don;t have to deal with OCA'S corruption.

As I will repeat...there are no "Feds" OF ANY KIND, that are strong enough or courageous enough to deal with the most extensive domestic terrorism in existence...THE NY STATE JUDICIARY!

Anonymous said...

Over the past 1 1/2 years I have written 3 letters to the US Attorney EDNY, to investigate corruption of the SCPD and Disrtict Attorney's Office.

I provided the US Attorney with a wide assortment of prosecutorial misconduct, outright suborniation of perjury on the part of the SCPD. I also provided them with data that supports my contention that the testimony of three convicted felons were outright lies manufactured by the SCPD to indict and convict a innocent man.

I have yet to receive the courtesy of a reply by the US Attorney that they have received my complaint.

I am a retired NYC detective of 29 years service. I told the US Attorney that I would stake my reputation that my charges can be proven if they would only listen to my complaint. I guaranteed them an idictment, if not a conviction.

It would be a simple matter of reading the testimony and there would be no conclusion that they could arrive at other than what my charges allege. Those charges could be corroborated in full if they interviewed the three alleged witness accomplices under the threat of perjury. There is no doubt that two of the remaining witness accomplices would spill their guts if they were under the penalty of jail.

I also told the US attorney that it is not my intention to reverse the conviction and give relief to the sentence imposed for that conviction. I also told the US attorney that if they did agree to hear me out and found my allegations meritorious, the time that it would take to exonerate the convicted person would go beyond the sentence anyway, and no relief would apply.

I simple want the corrupt to be punished, nothing more, and nothing less.

A few months ago I wrote a letter to then- U.S. Attorney Mukasey making the same complaint. I have since written to US Attorney Holder. Again, no reply.

The Melville, NY office of the FBI met with the same results.

This is a disrace when a citizen would make serious allegations of corruption and the federal government will not have the courtesy to interview me, or even write a letter of acknowledgement that my complaint has been received. PETE F

Anonymous said...

All the agencies you mentioned, know you are telling the truth...and that is why they have flipped you off!

The only way any action will come about in this corrupt legal/judiciary environment... is if the citizens of NY state become irate and outraged and force the media into investigating.

I worked for the judicial system for 30 yrs and I know all of their filthy and crooked secrets...and they still push and shove me to tell all of you, what they did and the names attached to their nakedness. If it wasn't so would be stupidly funny.

Why would you attack a 30 yr popular, well informed employee so viciously, that you mandate that the personal and professional laundry of they think..OCA hacks must be revealed... to prove that their actions were conspiratorial and perjurous, through their present continuous irresponsible and incredulous behavior.

OCA IS STILL coming up with new, previously uncharged and vicious allegations against me, to enhance their original lies which they cannot prove. ...after 5 yrs, but are still totally unable to coordinate any testimony in federal court depositions from these whacky disturbed employees, covering for their hiding judiciary...that matches what they and OCA claim!

These depos are the worst pieces of legal activity/testimony that I have ever witnessed in all my years at the hell hole courthouse! I have heard perjury from those who have murdered, that was better expressed and more intelligently thought out, then what these OCA legal employees have concocted!

Detective...don't continue to work with any legal entity..state, county or federal...they will completely ignore you... because they are lawyers who seek to protect. I say as a detective, you should get personal and dirty...that is the creative language they seem to get. Post it everywhere....and don't be shy...let us know who are the culprits and what crimes they have committed.

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The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:

               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
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