Peter J. Wirs 215-843-5900 or 267-977-9002
Martin Bozmarov 011-33-676-51-12-89 (add 5 hours for time difference)
59TH REPUBLICAN WARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FILES CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST CITIES OF PARIS AND SUBURB FOR ‘GLORIFYING’ INFAMOUS PHILADELPHIA COP-KILLER
Criminal charges were filed against the city of Paris and one of its suburbs, Saint Denis, for ‘glorifying’ Wesley Cook, a/k/a Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted July 3, 1982 for capital murder for the December 9, 1981 slaying of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, during an early morning traffic stop at 12th and Locust Street in Center City Philadelphia; by the 59th Republican Ward Executive Committee, encompassing the Germantown portion of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Despite exhausting all but one appeal regarding a Federal writ of habeas corpus overturning only his death penalty, but not his conviction; Abu-Jamal has become an international, anti-U.S. death penalty cause celebre. The French capital on October 4, 2003 named Abu-Jamal an honorary citizen, while the Saint Denis City Council voted April 29, 2006, to name a street after him, all which the GOP ward committee alleges violates French Penal Code, Article 24 § 2 (L. 29 juillet 1881), prohibiting ‘the glorified perpetration of a crime [whose elements include] the voluntary trespass to another person's life or physical integrity ...’ French case law appears to extend the article’s scope to the perpetrators of such crimes.
The 59th Republican Ward Executive Committee’s French counsel, Martin Bozmarov, Esq. filed a plainte, (criminal complaint) with the Procureur de la Republique, akin to a District Attorney, in two separate départements (France’s primary political subdivision) who represents the government before the trial courts, the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris for the capital city and Tribunal de Grande Instance de Bobigny that has jurisdiction over Saint Denis. Once each Procureur determines the charges founded, a instruction judiciaire (judicial investigation) is requested of the Chambre de l'Instruction, a separate body of judges, who appoints the Juge d'Instruction, a special investigating judge, to conduct a full scale investigation for both exculpatory as well as inculpatory evidence, including interviewing parties and witnesses. If the Juge d'Instruction estimates prosecution is warranted, the dossier is transferred back to the Procureur, while the three-judge Chambre de l'Instruction, if determining there is sufficient evidence to charge, issue the mise en examen, the formal indicting instrument, and transfers the case to a trial court.
Noting that this coming December 9th is the 25th anniversary of Officer Faulkner’s death, 59th Republican Ward Chairman Peter J. Wirs, a probable candidate for Pennsylvania Auditor General in 2008, asserted that Abu-Jamal’s gratuitous exploitation of genuine international opposition to the death penalty should be exposed for the ‘snake-oil’ scam that it is.
Although advocating a new trial for Abu-Jamal include notable, but liberal entities such as Amnesty International or the National Lawyers Guild; liberal or Socialist members of the British House of Commons, Japanese Diet, and the European Parliament; Democratic celebrities such as Ed Asner, Dick Gregory, and Susan Sarandon; political leaders such as Jessie Jackson, former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, and Fidel Castro; and city councils of San Francisco and Detroit, as well as Paris and Saint Denis, the 59th Republican Ward Executive Committee asserts their aversion to the death penalty renders them vulnerable to a guilty, but cunning criminal, who because of his own media and political background, is perpetrating a sophisticated scam out of his jail cell.
Wirs, a twice-elected state constable who specialized in civil rights investigations, said that his exhaustive examination of court records confirms what U.S. District Court Judge William Yohn also found; that Abu-Jamal received a fair trial despite his own ‘obstreperous conduct’ that hogtied his defense counsel’s representation, and that alleged post-mortem eyewitness recantations and inadvertent forensic deficiencies cannot overcome the sheer weight of circumstantial evidence, that only a Charter Arms .38 caliber revolver killed Officer Faulkner, being one of two firearms found at the crime scene, purchased by and registered to Abu-Jamal; the other being the fallen police officer’s service weapon; coupled with Abu-Jamal’s knowingly self-avowed confession that ‘I shot the motherfucker, and I hope the motherfucker dies’ heard twice by Thomas Jefferson University Hospital security personnel where Abu-Jamal was being treated after his arrest.
The controversy arose when on December 9, 1981, Abu-Jamal, a prominent Black Panther sympathizer, local radio news director, and part-time taxi driver, was waiting for his brother, William Cook, at 12th and Locust Streets in Center City Philadelphia, when he witnessed Officer Faulkner stopping Cook’s vehicle for a traffic stop. When Cook exited his vehicle and scuffled with Faulkner, Abu-Jamal ran to the scene and shot the officer in the back. Although falling, Faulkner was able to return fire and struck Abu-Jamal in the chest. But Abu-Jamal was able to stand over the fallen police officer and fired four more shots, the first of which entered Faulkner's brain between his eyes. Attempting to escape, Abu-Jamal’s wounds caused him to collapse on a nearby curb. All the time, his brother remained on the scene, protesting to additional responding police that ‘I ain't got nothing to do with this.’ Abu-Jamal attempted again to shoot at approaching police, but was too weak to snatch the weapon off the ground before being apprehended. Nonetheless, Abu-Jamal, a well known anti-police activist, resisted arrest by striking and kicking the officers attempting to handcuff him. While being treated at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Abu-Jamal repeated his self-avowed confession to hospital security personnel and surrounding police officers. The account was fully proven at trial by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office, then under now Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell, with eyewitness testimony and forensic evidence then available.
Abu-Jamal’s supporters seize on the Philadelphia Police Department’s admission they failed to test Abu-Jamal for gunshot powder, now a common test to verify one discharged a firearm; and because the bullet recovered from Faulkner suffered too much mutilation, it could not be conclusively matched with any specific Charter Arms revolver. Such contentions, Wirs asserts, does not mitigate the fact that the bullet specimen had eight lands and grooves with a right hand direction of twist consistent with a Charter Arms revolver; and that Abu-Jamal’s Charter Arms revolver was found next to him which contained five ‘Plus-P’ high-velocity spent bullet shell casings.
Abu-Jamal’s advocates also allege that two reputed eyewitness recantations, a prostitute who testified seeing Abu-Jamal entering the fray; and the hospital security guard who heard Abu-Jamal’s emergency room confession, challenge the conviction’s veracity. However, Wirs reports he found no evidence of extrinsic fraud common with perjured testimony and moreover, the alleged security guard’s recantation is not credible as it was reported by a sibling subsequent to the eyewitness’ death.
Finally, Wirs notes that a common trait in bad faith prosecutions, or ‘political trials,’ of defense counsel acting in league with the prosecutor and judge to obtain an invalid conviction, is not found here. Instead, the trial record clearly shows Abu-Jamal’s trial counsel vigorously mounted a defense, despite being hobbled by Abu-Jamals’ courtroom antics mocking the judicial process. To the contrary, Wirs argues the record shows that despite the trial court’s extraordinary act of appointing counsel of his choice instead of a randomly selected public defender, Abu-Jamal sabotaged his defense by first seeking to represent himself pro se, but then demanding John Africa, a laborer who led the local black radical cult, MOVE, be lead counsel. Although Abu-Jamal’s disruptive tactics eventually compelled the exasperated trial judge to remove Abu-Jamal from the courtroom, the record conclusively shows that prominent defense attorney Anthony Jackson diligently sought Abu-Jamal’s direction during the balance of the trial and vigorously cross-examined all witnesses.
Wirs, the only known elected Republican officeholder to serve as an ACLU Board Member, stated ‘that although Pennsylvania has long had a history of politicalizing the criminal justice process, starting with the Molly McGuires, there’s simply no indicia of prosecutorial misconduct, judicial bias, or defense counsel’s subserviency that would suggest Abu-Jamal’s trial to be either a bad faith or selective prosecution,’said Wirs. Moreover Wirs asserts that Abu-Jamal’s latest ‘Grassy Knoll’ theory that a Philadelphia Police hired mob hit-man shot Faulkner obviates any remaining strand of credibility, which the French authorities cannot ignore.
Wirs also cites the fact that neither Abu-Jamal, or his brother, William Cook testified at trial and to this date, William Cook has refused to testify under oath in any instance. ‘The only reasonable inference which is logically drawn is the obvious, that the brother cannot exonerate Abu-Jamal,’ said the ward GOP chairman.
The 59th Republican Ward has developed plans for, but because of the recent Election, has not yet had the opportunity to either raise funds for or extend formal invitations to Philadelphia and Pennsylvania public officials to testify before the Saint Denis City Council on Thursday, November 30th. ‘It is our hope that we can join our French brethren in agreeing to disagree as to the utility of the death penalty, and moreover, we cannot avoid the obvious lapses historically and judicially noted regarding governance of the Pennsylvania criminal judicial process,’ said Wirs. ‘But this does not mean such matters entitles a free meal ticket for a punk who willingly admitted to everyone in earshot that he shot Officer Faulkner. They may have the right cause, but they have the wrong man.’
The 59th Ward Executive Committee is also contemplating a memorial service to be held December 9, 2006, at 12th and Locust Streets at 4 AM, the proximate time Officer Faulkner died in the line of duty, which public officials, community and religious leaders, police and firefighters and the general public are invited to show their support to counter the ‘Free Mumia’ protest scheduled for noon in front of Philadelphia’s City Hall on the the 25th anniversary of this event.
Hon. Peter J. Wirs
59th Republican Ward Executive Committee - City of Philadelphia
6145 Germantown Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19144-2047