Friday, February 17, 2006

A scene from the movie ‘Fat Chance’
Judge Denies Padilla's Request for Bail

MIAMI (AP) -- A federal judge refused to set bail for terror suspect Jose Padilla on Friday after hearing about his extensive travel overseas and his history of skipping bail in criminal cases.

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke upheld another judge's ruling that Padilla would remain jailed without bond because he likely would attempt to flee prosecution and remained a danger to the community.

Padilla, a 35-year-old U.S. citizen and former Chicago gang member, is charged with being a recruit for a North American terror cell that provided fighters, money and supplies to Islamic extremists around the world.

He was held for 3 1/2 years by the military as an "enemy combatant" before he was charged in civilian court late last year.

Federal prosecutor Stephanie Pell said Padilla had a history of arrests and convictions for violent crimes - including murder as a juvenile in 1985 - and had forfeited bond by failing to appear on four other occasions. Padilla had been arrested previously on charges including assault and battery, marijuana possession and illegal weapons, and he served a year in Florida prison for a weapons conviction, records show.

Padilla also has a wife and children overseas, has used aliases and has traveled in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Pell said.

"He has the motive and the way to leave, and he will do so," she said...

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