He told U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds in a letter that arrived Monday that prominent Detroit criminal lawyer Anthony Chambers has lied to him, doesn’t visit him and has failed to provide documents he requested for his upcoming sentencing. He asked Edmunds to appoint a Muslim lawyer.
She set a hearing on the request for Jan. 6. He is to be sentenced Jan. 19.
Chambers said Abdulmutallab is misguided.
“We have gone above and beyond for him … He’s having regrets over what I would consider a bad decision” to plead guilty, Chambers said.
In a letter dated Dec. 12, Abdulmutallab wrote, “I do not want Mr. Chambers and his associates to continue serving as my standby counsel. Our relationship is strained to say the least. They treat me with contempt, especially away from the eyes of the court.”
He said he hadn’t seen Chambers in months.
Edmunds appointed Chambers to serve as Abdulmutallab’s standby lawyer after Abdulmutallab fired federal defender Miriam Siefer and her staff. Though he insisted on representing himself, he relied heavily on Chambers to question potential jurors for his trial.
Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty — against Chambers’ advice — in October just as the first trial witness was to be called.
The Nigerian student-turned-al-Qaida operative pleaded guilty to trying to detonate a bomb concealed in his underwear on an Amsterdam-to-Detroit jetliner carrying more than 300 people. The plot was foiled when passengers and crew members overcame him. He suffered burns to his genitals and legs.
He told Edmunds he tried to carry out the bombing in retaliation for the murder of innocent civilians in Iraq, Israel, Afghanistan, Somalia and elsewhere by the U.S. He faces a mandatory 30 years in prison, but could get life for some of the charges, which include conspiring to commit terrorism and using a weapon of mass destruction.
–Via Detroit Free Press