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Lawyer asks court to continue Islam’s release

ATTORNEY Bruce Berline on Wednesday filed a motion in the District Court for the NMI, seeking his client’s release pending appeal of his sentence to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Berline is representing Mohammed Rafiqul Islam, one of three men convicted by a federal jury for their involvement in a labor scheme.

On March 9, 2018, federal Judge John C. Coughenour sentenced Islam to 18 months and three years of supervised release. His co-defendants are Muksedur Rahman, who was sentenced to 48 months in prison and three years of supervised release, and David Trung Quoc Phan, who was sentenced to eight months in prison and two years of supervised release. Phan has also appealed his sentence.

Islam is out of custody but will be notified by the U.S. Marshal Service once the U.S. Bureau of Prisons has designated a facility where he will serve his sentence.

Berline said Islam is not a flight risk, and not a danger to the community.

Islam does not have the financial means to flee, and there is no evidence that he has sophisticated means to obtain a new travel document, his lawyer said.

He added that Islam was not convicted of a crime of violence nor a crime that could be characterized as one which posed or poses a danger to the community.

Berline said the appeal was not filed for the purpose of delay. He said Islam’s appeal raises substantial questions of law likely to result in reversal or an order for a new trial.

In related news, Judge Coughenour exonerated the bail posted for Rahman.

Mizanur Rahman Kahn posted a cash bond for Rahman prior to the trial. Coughenour directed the clerk to return the $1,500 cash bond to Kahn.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/103262-lawyer-asks-court-to-continue-islam-s-release

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