Thursday, July 17, 2008

Elmo adds Denial of Citizenship to his Lawsuit

Reader's Digest magazine's Hero of the Year, former Durham cab driver Moezeldin Elmostafa has expanded his lawsuit against the former Hecht's security guard, Jonathan Massey, Hecht's Company Inc, and Macy's Retail Holdings.

The Durham Herald-Sun's John Stevenson reported.

..Elmostafa received judicial permission this week to add the unusual citizenship clause to an already existing lawsuit.

Loflin and Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Orlando F. Hudson said Tuesday they were unaware of any previous court claims of the kind.

A Sudanese immigrant, Elmostafa finally gained his U.S. citizenship in April of this year.

Now, he wants reimbursement from those who allegedly delayed the process by once bringing a misdemeanor criminal charge against him. They include a former Hecht's security guard named Jonathan Massey, Hecht's Company Inc. and Macy's Retail Holdings Inc., which has taken over the Hecht's operation.

Raleigh lawyer Dan Hartzog, representing the defendants, said Tuesday he could not comment on the allegation of delayed citizenship.

A warrant had accused Elmostafa of helping a woman steal $250 worth of handbags from the former Hecht's store at Northgate Mall in 2003.

The then-cabbie was acquitted in August 2006 after testifying that he merely gave the woman a ride and didn't know what she was up to.

By then, the handbag incident had been linked to the Duke lacrosse case, in which three student athletes were charged with sexually assaulting an exotic dancer during an off-campus party in March 2006.

Elmostafa became an alibi witness for one of the athletes, Reade Seligmann, since he drove Seligmann to a bank machine, fast-food restaurant and campus dorm while the alleged sexual attack supposedly was in progress.

The way Elmostafa saw it, the 2003 criminal warrant against him was resurrected three years later in retaliation for his anti-prosecution stance in the lacrosse proceedings... Herald-Sun

Former Durham DA investigator Linwood Wilson in his deposition of May 23, 2007 to the NC State Bar attorneys, admitted that he and Ashley Cannon (former Durham ADA), went and interviewed Lisa Hawkins in jail. She was the person who was convicted of the crime. She admitted to them,

"That she didn't tell(Elmo) what was going on"

Despite that and her refusal to testify against Elmo, the DAs Office went ahead and tried to convict Elmo. He was found Not Guilty!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The metanarrative that the DPD and Nifong had concocted - that the three lax players had to be guilty - had to be preserved at all cost. If that meant going after an immigrant (who they probably considered, given their mindset, would cave under police pressure and say or do anything that the police wanted) then so be it. What they did not figure on was that Elmo was a man of integrity (they would be unable to recognize such a person as "it takes one to know one") who knew what the right thing was to do - even if it put him at considerable risk - and the risk for Elmo (and his family who he was working to be able to bring over once he had obtained US citizenship) was extremely high.
When Elmo wouldn't cave, the DPD and Nifong had an additional problem. What were they to do - thus the attempts to smear him everywhy possible with the help of the press - and yet, Elmo stood his ground. One would think that such organizations as the NAACP, the Rainbow Coalition, etc. would be bending backwards to honor such a man of character. Not even his city of residence could see fit to honor him - only make it even more difficult for him to earn a living. Generally, I am not in favor of lawsuits - however, I hope that Elmo is able to win big bucks. Nothing is going to change in Durham until the populace feels it severely in their pocketbooks.