Judge Hears Complaints From Accused Underwear Bomber
DETROIT (WWJ) – A Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a Northwest jetliner over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009 was back in federal court, Thursday, where the judge set a Aug. 19 plea deal deadline.
WWJ’s Marie Osborne reports that Judge Nancy Edmunds heard some complaints from Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, before setting am Aug. 19 deadline for any plea deal.
Abdulmutallab, who is representing himself in the case, told the judge he feels he is being treated unfairly at the Milan federal prison where he is being held.
Abdulmutallab said he’s not been allowed to make phone calls to his standby attorney, and he’s not receiving books and magazines that he has requested.
The judge said she would contact the prison to discuss those issues — but then asked Abdulmutallab, again, if he wanted to continue to represent himself, to which he replied, “yes.”
WWJ and Fox 2 Legal Analyst Charlie Langton said that Judge Edmunds wants to make sure Abdulmutallab understands the consequences of firing his legal counsel.
“The judge wants to make sure that, if this trial goes forward… that the underwear bomber knows that it’s his show and nobody elses. Very dumb move on behalf of the underwear bomber. But, again, he did kind of a dumb thing, and this case has got to go forward,” Langton said.
Outside the courtroom, Abdulmutallab’s standby attorney Anthony Chambers spoke to reporters about what’s likely to come next in the case.
“At this point, there is no reason to think this case will resolve itself by way of a plea (bargain). Absolutely not,” he said.
Judge Edmunds set the plea-deal deadline at the request of prosecutors.
Abdulmutallab is charged with trying to ignite an explosive in his underwear as Northwest Airlines Flight 253 approached Detroit Metropolitan Airport on Christmas 2009. The plane left Amsterdam with 279 passengers and a crew of 11.
The trial is set for October.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.