Christopher Bollyn Appears in Court
Try me, good King,
but let me have a lawful trial;
and let not my sworn enemies sit
as my accusers and my judges;
yea, let me receive an open trial,
for my truth shall fear no open shames…
Anne Boleyn to Henry VIII before her trial
BOLLYN APPEARS IN COURT
January 31, 2007
Today, once again, I was called to appear in criminal court. With an attorney (not in the photo), I appeared in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Third Municipal District, at 2121 Euclid in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. A dozen or so supporters were on hand to witness the events and provide moral support to the much beleaguered Bollyn family.
To those who attended and those who sent their prayers and support I send my sincere thanks.
I am currently facing two misdemeanor charges from an incident that occurred at my home last August 15 (2006): resisting arrest and aggravated assault against a peace officer. The charges were applied to me after I had called 911 (the emergency number) to report a suspicious vehicle cruising around my house for two nights with three heavily-armed men wearing body armor. This car and its armed men were the immediate cause of my concern.
Expecting a Hoffman Estates police officer to respond to my call, a few minutes later, I was completely shocked to see the very same three heavily-armed men confronting my wife and 8-year-old daughter in my front yard. I rushed out of the house and stood beside my wife and asked the men who they were and what they were doing around my house.
Despite repeated requests, the three men who stood in formation across my driveway, adamantly refused to identify themselves or explain what they were doing. Most importantly, they did not say that they had responded to my 911 call.
Having only recently returned to the area, I told the nameless men that I needed to get my older brother, the permanent resident of the house, and turned toward the front door. Before I could reach the door I was suddenly and violently attacked from behind and thrown to the ground. With my right hand trapped beneath my body, two men held me firmly to the ground with their knees and handcuffed my left hand.
With one man kneeling on the side of my head with his full body weight and the other kneeling on my right elbow, I remember hearing: “Where’s his other arm?”
I said, “It’s under my body,” although this should have been obvious to the men who were holding me down.
My wife said my face turned purple and my eyes were bulging out of my head. She wanted to photograph it but was threatened with jail if she dared to do it.
Unable to move, I felt a square device placed against my lower left back. A powerful shock of 50,000 volts was then delivered for several seconds. This was extremely painful and utterly uncalled for. I was deeply offended and insulted by this treatment.
On January 31st, in Room 102, the Bollyn family and their local supporters filled up several benches. My lawyer, who wishes to remain unnamed, consulted with the other attorneys and courtroom personnel and then called me outside. Walking quickly to the elevator in the hall, my attorney, who has served for many years as a supervisor in the state’s attorney office, said: “They’ve appointed a special prosecutor to your case. In all my years, I have never seen that in a misdemeanor case.”
Asked what that meant, he said that it meant that there is a great deal of concern about this case and that they want the case to receive special handling.
I asked my attorney where we were going. Court was ready to begin, after all.
He said that he was looking for the special prosecutor named Liz Hantzos. We did not find her before court began. Her full name is Elizabeth G. Hantzos (Finn), and I could later see that she is a slim, young prosecutor with long dark hair, who I assume is of Greek ancestry.
FRAMED ON CNN
Last night, on national television, I was effectively framed as an anti-Semite on CNN’s Paula Zahn show. Less than 24 hours later, I was called to appear before a left-handed judge named Alfred L. Levinson, and heard that I was scheduled (Marked “Final”) for a bench trial.
As I had strenuously insisted, from the beginning, that if my case should go to trial it must be a jury trial, I had instructed my lawyer to request a jury trial. My request was granted without discussion.
My party left the courtroom, somewhat noisily, and went across the hall to Room 107, where we then appeared before Hyman I. Riebman. Hyman Riebman is a former president of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association.
See Hyman Riebman at: http://law.niu.edu/download/judges2006.pdf
Judge Riebman had some questions for my lawyer Jack Smeeton and I was glad to hear him finally say that he needed to file subpoenas for the 911 tape and police transmissions. This material had not been turned over to the FOIA requests that I had submitted before I even had a lawyer. I was very disappointed and felt betrayed by my lawyer that he had not even tried to obtain this essential evidence earlier. If this material has been destroyed, it could result in sanctions or a dismissal of the charges.
The judge scheduled a trial date of March 8.
My lawyer, who has been opposed to a jury trial, admitted that he is not sure where he is going with the trial. He said this to the group of my supporters. This does not bode well.
He has said that one has no right to resist an “illegal arrest.”
I said that there was no arrest prior to the assault and that there was no resistance during the assault. So, where did I resist arrest, I asked.
The whole episode is so un-American that I feel I have to fight it. This is not the America that I grew up in.
I first saw the use of un-identified police forces outside the White House in 2000. When protests occurred outside the White House, hordes of armed men wearing jumpsuits would appear with nothing more than a lapel pin as identification. There was nothing, even on the lapel pin, that would identify them to the average citizen.
Only the cognoscenti, who recognized the lapel pin, would know who these “palace guard” units were. This is common in Washington, but then there are different rules in Washington. Secrecy and spies are everywhere.
When these things happen in your hometown, it is not acceptable. Local police working on the public dime need to be accountable and recognizable to the public. Quasi-military squads of heavily-armed men out of uniform should not be acceptable on the streets of the United States.
The police need to operate transparently within defined borders and restrictions. The public has the right to know, and to be informed, of armed police activities in their neighborhoods. The police are not above the law.
“You are an idealist,” my supporters say. “You need to think of self-preservation.”
My lawyer says: “The truth doesn’t matter.”
No American or any other freedom-loving person should ever submit to illegal arrest by un-identified men. The only people that I know who were forced to submit to such arrests wound up being loaded onto boxcars in the Baltic States in 1941 and sent to Siberia, never to be heard from again. And then there are the dozen or so Estonians who survived the 1994 Estonia sinking, who were kidnapped from their hospital beds in Sweden – and never seen again.
I cannot accept such practices – nor should anyone else.
Note: The jury trial is postponed until May 31st.
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