(March 20, 2008) The attorney for Albanian refugee Rrustem Neza reports that US immigration authorities have resumed questioning his client directly, in violation of procedures that require them to notify legal counsel.
On the same day that attorney John Wheat Gibson expressed his concern in writing, he received an order from the federal district court of Abilene closing the case that sought to dope and deport Mr. Neza.
“I would appreciate it if you would explain to your client that it is unethical to communicate directly with an adverse party who is represented by counsel without obtaining the consent of counsel,” wrote Gibson to Assistant US Attorney E. Scott Frost of Lubbock. “In this case, your client did not even notify me of his intent to communicate directly with my client.”
Gibson explained that immigration authorities have asked Mr. Neza, to fill out a questionnaire with information that they already have.
After sending the letter, Gibson received a copy of the federal court order, dated March 20, closing the case that had attempted to get court permission to dope Mr. Neza for the purpose of deporting him in a submissive posture. Efforts to place Mr. Neza on a commercial airplane in 2007 were turned back because of his loud protests.
Mr. Neza has been seeking asylum since two of his cousins were killed in the aftermath of the assassination of Albanian Democrat Azem Hajdari. Mr. Neza fears that the same faction that killed his cousins and Hajdari will kill him, too.
Mr. Neza’s efforts to remain in the USA took a turn for the better when he was recently released from a year’s imprisonment at Haskell following a US House of Representatives Subcommittee Hearing that ordered a report on his case.
“It is clear that your client’s attempt to communicate [with] my client is nothing but a charade, so that the Bureau of Customs and Immigration Enforcement can tell the Congress that it conducted an ‘investigation,’ when, in reality, it has no intention of investigating anything, but only intends to rubber stamp the refusal of other bureaucrats to allow Mr. Neza to present his case for asylum to an immigration judge,” wrote Gibson in his letter to the US Attorney’s office of Lubbock.
The House Subcommittee on Immigration ordered the report in connection with a special bill filed in Mr. Neza’s behalf by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Nacogdoches).
For more information on Mr. Neza’s case and Rep. Gohmert’s efforts to help him, please see the Texas Civil Rights Review index of documents, “Saving Rrustem Neza.”–gm