UNTIL USCIS OKS HIS CW-1 VISA
A key witness of one of the six defendants in a CW-1 scam case is unable to appear personally in federal court, apparently because he is currently in the Philippines and cannot enter the CNMI until his I-129 CW-1 visa is approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Janet H. King, the lawyer for defendant Analyn Nunez, asked the U.S. District Court for the NMI to allow the video testimony of a key witness, who lives in Bataan, the Philippines.
King said the witness, an employee of TBK Auto Cares & Repair, had departed the CNMI.
King said the witness’ testimony at trial is crucial to the defense, that the alien workers from Bangladesh employed by TBK had asked the witness how to marry a “local” and obtain “green cards.”
The defense counsel said today’s technology would allow the court, counsel, and the jury to observe the witness as he testifies, and for the jury to sufficiently judge the witness’ credibility.
The indictment charged Nunez with one count of mail fraud and one count of fraud and misuse of visas and permits.
Meanwhile, in a conference call for the U.S. government and Nunez’s co-defendants Muksedur Rahman and Md. Rafiqul Islam on Thursday, U.S. District Court for the NMI Magistrate Judge Heather Kennedy struck down the trial date set for Tuesday.
Kennedy said a new trial date will be set today, Monday.
Rahman and Islam had asked the court to move the trial to a later date until the court has appointed a new interpreter.
Last week, U.S. District Court for the NMI designated Judge John C. Coughenour accepted Kennedy’s recommendation to accept the guilty plea of another defendan, Zeaur Rahman Dalu.
Dalu’s sentencing will be on Dec. 22, 2017.
According to the U.S. government, integral to the scheme to defraud was the collection of large amounts of money—roughly between $15,000 and $20,000—from each of the 12 named victims in this case. The alleged victims are Bangladeshi nationals.