For Immediate Release:

February 27, 2007


Leonard Peltier Defense Committee

(915) 533-6655

Michael Kuzma, Esq.

(716) 822-7645-office

(716) 474-3824-cell


In two separate decisions rendered this month,
United States District Judge
Donovan W. Frank and a threejudge panel for the
United States Court of
Appeals for the Second Circuit refused to order
the Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI) to release thousands of pages
of documents relating to
Leonard Peltier.

Both Judge Frank and the Appeals Court
upheld claims by the FBI
that release of the sought-after information
would, among other things,
cause serious damage to the national security of
the United States and the
war on transnational terrorism.

In 2003, the United States Court of
Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
declared that, "Much of the government's behavior
at the Pine Ridge
Reservation and in its prosecution of Mr. Peltier
is to be condemned. The
government withheld evidence. It intimidated
witnesses. These facts are
undisputed." Nevertheless, Judge Frank found
that any evidence of prior FBI
misconduct was "irrelevant."

Michael Kuzma, attorney for Leonard Peltier in
both cases brought under the
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) said that, "The
Courts are unwilling to
dispense justice when it comes to Leonard

Kuzma went on to state, "How can anyone claim
that Leonard Peltier received
a fair trial in 1977 when the government withheld
and continues to withhold
thousands and thousands of pages of FBI

Barry A. Bachrach, who served as co-counsel with
Kuzma, indicated that he
was, "disappointed, but not surprised that the
Courts elected to summarily
uphold the decision by the FBI to keep the
documents hidden on dubious
national security grounds." Bachrach went on to
ask, "How can FBI documents
generated over three decades ago possibly pose a
threat to the national
security of the United States?"

Judge Frank's decision will be appealed to the
United States Court of
Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Peltier
attorneys have 30 days to file a
Notice of Appeal.

Leonard Peltier, a member of the
American Indian Movement (AIM),
was convicted in Fargo, North Dakota, on April
18, 1977 for the shooting
deaths of FBI Special Agents Jack Coler and
Ronald Williams at the Pine
Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota on June
26, 1975.

Leonard Peltier Defense Committee @

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