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Federal prosecutors Tuesday hit the father of former Flushing resident and admitted terrorist Najibullah Zazi with eight new charges.
Mohammed Wali Zazi is being charged with four counts of obstruction of justice, two counts of material false statements, and one count each of witness tampering and visa fraud for his alleged role in the coverup of his son’s terror-planning activities, according to an indictment made public Tuesday.
Mohammed Zazi, 54, a former Flushing resident arrested last year in his current home state of Colorado, pleaded not guilty earlier this year to conspiring with others to get rid of chemicals and other items tied to the plot by his son and others to blow up bombs in subway stations in New York City around Sept. 11, 2009. Federal prosecutors said in October that they planned to charge him with additional counts when they were unable to reach a deal with him.
Deborah Colson, Mohammed Zazi’s attorney, said he will also plead not guilty to the new charges, Reuters reported.
“We continue to ask the public to withhold judgment until all the facts are revealed,” Colson said, according to Reuters.
The new charges filed against Mohammed Zazi in Brooklyn federal court accuse him of destroying materials, criminally “hindering” authorities, providing false information to authorities and incorrectly identifying a nephew as his biological son and also as his adopted son, according to the indictment.
He is also accused of falsely telling an FBI agent that “he did not speak to anyone in New York about Najibullah Zazi being in trouble” and that “he did not know anyone named ‘Ahmed Wais,’” according to the indictment. The FBI said he did know Imam Ahmed Wais Afzali, the man he referred to.
Mohammed Wali Zazi was scheduled to appear in Brooklyn federal court Dec. 9.
One of Najibullah Zazi’s alleged fellow terrorist plotters, Adis Medunjanin, has pleaded not guilty to terror charges, while Afzali and Zazi’s co-plotter, Zarein Ahmedzay, have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the plot. Zazi, Medunjanin and Ahmedzay attended Flushing High School together.
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4538.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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