On top of all, he fears for his life, because he was attacked and beaten by 16 jail guards — “white Nazis”– would you believe?
Yes indeed, nothing is what it seems: Attorneys for Muzzammil “Mo” Hassan said he isn’t even a practicing Muslim… and his sole purpose in life was to spread Islam in the US of A, but after several divorces and many wife-beatings, he decided to chop his wives head off. And we all know, nothing done in the name of Islam is ever Islamic, so Â nothing to see here. Move on!
A court hearing Wednesday on whether a television reporter must turn over notes of an interview with accused killer Muzzammil “Mo” Hassan instead became a forum for Hassan to accuse his jailers of torturing and plotting to kill him.
Hassan asked a judge to “fire” Sheriff Timothy B. Howard because of the alleged actions of sheriff’s deputies in the Erie County Holding Center, claims that a Sheriff’s Office spokesman called “preposterous.”
Hassan, 45, who is awaiting trial on charges he murdered his wife in Orchard Park last year, told Erie County Judge Thomas P. Franczyk he was attacked and beaten by 16 jail guards — whom he referred to as “white Nazis” Ã‘ Nov. 10 and last Thursday. He also claimed he had been “waterboarded” in the jail.
“I don’t feel safe,” Hassan told the judge.
After Jeremy D. Schwartz, Hassan’s current lawyer, asked the judge to order the Sheriff’s Office to preserve the videotapes Hassan said were made of his alleged jailhouse beatings, the judge told the attorney to file a motion in that regard.
Erie County Undersheriff Mark N. Wipperman, who has overall command of all jail operations, said Hassan “has been a troublesome and problematic inmate” since his February 2009 jailing.
“Mr. Hassan’s diatribe today in Judge Franczyk’s court is preposterous, and the conduct he described in these absurd allegations will never be tolerated in the Erie County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Hassan has been treated fairly and humanely since the inception of his incarceration,” Wipperman said.
Hassan, jailed since he turned himself in to Orchard Park police, is accused of beheading his estranged wife, Aasiya Zubair Hassan, 37, on Feb. 12, 2009, in the cable television station they founded. The homicide occurred a week after Aasiya Hassan began divorce proceedings.
Franczyk also reserved decision on a prosecution request for the notes and memos of a WGRZ-TV reporter who conducted a Sept. 8 jailhouse interview with Hassan. In that interview, Hassan reiterated earlier claims that he killed his wife in self-defense because he was a victim of “battered spouse syndrome.”
The judge said he is likely to wait until the start of the trial before he rules on whether reporter Claudine Ewing’s notes are so critical to the prosecution case that they must be turned over to prosecutors.
WGRZ-TV attorney Susan C. Roney argued that the notes from Ewing’s interview with Hassan are protected by the New York State Shield Law dealing with news media material. But Colleen Curtin Gable, the chief prosecutor in the case, contended the notes are a “critical and necessary” part of the prosecution case because they deal with Hassan’s “state of mind” at the time of the murder.”
Franczyk told Roney to ensure that Ewing’s notes are preserved, pending his ultimate ruling on that issue. He said he has to be convinced the effort is not “just a fishing expedition” by prosecutors seeking “impeachment material” to challenge the credibility of Hassan’s self-defense claims.
Franczyk said the murder trial will begin Jan. 10. Prosecution psychiatric examinations of Hassan are expected to be completed next week. The judge also ordered Schwartz to tell him Dec. 6 whether he and Hassan have worked out a legal retainer agreement. Schwartz said he will remain on the case at least until the mental exams are done. Franczyk said he needs to know if Hassan, who already has fired two attorneys, will have legal representation or will act as his own lawyer at trial.