Prosecutors Intimidating Duke Lacrosse Witness?
That's what the defense is claiming
, and it's not hard to see their point:Taxi driver Moezeldin Elmostafa said Investigator R.D. Clayton and another officer asked whether he had anything new to tell them about the rape case before driving him to the Durham County jail. He said no and was held for five hours, until a friend posted his bail on a shoplifting charge.
Ernest Conner, a Greenville lawyer who represents defendant Reade Seligmann, said the cabbie's arrest amounted to intimidation. "It appears to me they are trying to pressure a witness who supports our defendant's rock-solid alibi," Conner said.
Here's the background:Elmostafa said Wednesday that he had picked up Lisa Faye Hawkins and her daughter at their home and had taken them to the mall. Elmostafa said he waited in the taxi with the daughter while Hawkins shopped and then he drove the two home.
Elmostafa said he later received a call asking him to speak with Hecht's security. The security officer at Hecht's said Hawkins had stolen some purses before getting into the taxi, Elmostafa said.
Elmostafa said he gave the woman's address and a copy of his driver's license to the security guard, who thanked him for his help.
"I am not responsible for what she did inside the store," Elmostafa said. "I am just a taxi driver."
Hawkins pleaded guilty to the larceny three months later.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out.