Defense attorneys claim that Frank James, the New York City subway attack suspect, was unfairly interrogated this week.
James, 62, of Milwaukee, claims that FBI agents entered his cell at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, questioned him, took multiple swabs of his DNA, and directed him to sign certain documents.
The charges were made public on Thursday as part of a new federal court document.
In their filing, the defense attorneys stated that, unlike customary procedure, the government committed this intrusion without providing a prior warning to counsel, denying us the opportunity to be heard or to be present in the courtroom. In addition, the government failed to provide additional notice to the attorneys. Mr. James was not provided with a copy of the warrant or a receipt, which violated the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(f)(1)(C), according to the agents. According to the document, they were only issued a search warrant when they specifically sought one.
This is reflected in the court filing, which states that the government did not produce the underlying affidavit or any justification for the deviation from customary practice by neglecting to provide counsel with notice and an opportunity to be present.
The attorneys said that generally, when the government gets a search warrant for DNA swabs from an unrepresented, post-arraignment defendant, the government notifies counsel before the search warrant’s execution and provides an opportunity for counsel to be present during the search. This serves as a safeguard to preserve the rights of defendants represented in court.
Defense attorneys asserted that the FBI’s behavior ran the possibility of infringing on James’ constitutional right to due process.
Federal terrorism charges have been filed against James by federal prosecutors.
A smoke device was detonated by the suspect, who then opened fire on a subway car in Brooklyn, according to the police.
Twenty-nine people were shot or otherwise injured.
The reason for James’ actions remains a mystery. If convicted, he may face up to life in prison.