Monday, May 25, 2009

Update on IFCO Court Case

After a long period of determined struggle against the campaign launched against us by the NYC Special Commissioner of Investigation (SCI), and after waiting two months for the judge's decision regarding the SCI's motion to hold both IFCO and Rev Lucius Walker in contempt, we are pleased to have some good news to share with you:

On May 7, 2009, Judge Gische issued her decision regarding the SCI's contempt motions. The good news is that the judge found neither IFCO nor Rev Walker to be in contempt of court. The decision said:

"The court finds the drastic relief of contempt is not warranted against either respondent. Reverend Walker has validly asserted a Fifth Amendment privilege.... Therefore, Reverend Walker has not violated the court's prior order which preserve his 5th Amendment privilege."

With respect to Rev. Walker, she found that he could not be compelled to testify or to present documents, either in his personal capacity or as the person in charge of IFCO's records, because to do so would violate his constitutional rights.

In the case of IFCO, the decision stated:

"While IFCO has not fully complied with the order, the court at this point will not characterize IFCO's actions as having been calculated to, or actually defeated, impaired, impeded, or prejudiced petitioner's rights or remedies. Farkas v. Farkas, supra. IFCO is given a further opportunity to comply with the court's order.... IFCO is ordered to appoint another individual, either some other IFCO employee or an entirely new agent with no previous connection to IFCO, who would not similarly be incriminated by the act of production; such person is to search for and produce any and all documents responsive to the...subpoena served on IFCO... IFCO is directed to produce the documents and give testimony...
at SCI's offices on June 11, 2009, unless the parties mutually agree in writing to another date."

So while the case is not over, closed, ended, we do have a partial victory. Our attorneys are in the process of examining this ruling, and we are looking at legal strategies for the next phase of this long struggle.

In the two years that this matter has been hanging over our heads, your support has been such a great help to us. Your letters, emails, and phone messages of support have been tremendously important to us. The presence of so many of you with us in the courtroom was always an energizing moment, which helped to convey the clear message that our cause is important and that "the whole world is watching..."
We thank you for your continued support, and we will keep you updated -- as "la luta continua...."

IFCO/PASTORS FOR PEACE
418 West 145th Street, 3-FL.
New York NY 10031
tel: 212.926.5757 - fax 212.926.5842 - e-mail ifco@igc.org

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