Déclaration de Mumia abu-Jamal à l'occasion du refus de son droit de comparaître
le 17 août 2001

It is against an extraordinary and unprecedented background that present counsel's motion for pro hoc vice status to enter this case and assist in righting these historical wrongs come before this forum today.

The denial of my right of self-representation, the infringement of my right of representation and my right to represention itself has a long and tortured history.

For the better part of three years the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania itself, wrongly, unconstitutionally, and illegally invaded my right to correspond with counsel by copying and improperly distributing privileged correspondence to unknown third parties. A federal court in Jamal v. Price has found this violation "actually injured" my communication with cousel.

Subsequently, with the publication of a vile book, former counsel's conduct has caused very serious questions of conflict of interest. It is those very questions among other things, which brings us to this forum today.

In this case, self-representation has been violated, the right to organize one's own defense, the right of the assistance of John Africa, the right to confidential communication has been violated, the right to counsel free of glaring conflict of interest has been betrayed, and very particularly, the right to be present in a courtroom when my case is being heard has been denied once again through no fault of my own.

Eighteen years ago Judge Sabo unjustly banned me from virtually half of my trial. Today, i am banned from a proceeding in my name, in my defense, without reason or justification.

Mumia Abu-Jamal

August 16, 2001