Muslim Rights Group: Miraliev Questioned, Denied Attorney by FBI
The Council on American-Islamic Relations alleges Constitutional rights violations against the friend of Ibragim Todashev.
Ashurmamad Miraliev, a friend of Ibragim Todashev, was denied repeated requests to an attorney during a six-hour interrogation with the FBI after his arrest last week, according to the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Todashev was a friend of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev and was shot to death by the FBI during questioning related to a 2011 triple murder in Waltham last May.
CAIR also made a statement in a press release today that the FBI is systematically harassing and threatening Todashev’s friends by way of “frivolous investigations, intimidation and unlawful threats,” and they are calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate.
“He made repeated requests for an attorney throughout, because we had trained him to do that, because we didn’t want anyone else shot and killed,” said Tampa CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly, referring to Todashev’s death in May. Todashev was shot by the FBI while being questioned in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings as well as a 2011 triple murder in Waltham.
Shibly says he also called the U.S. Attorney and the FBI on September 18, the day of Miraliev’s arrest, to request that lawyers be present for the questioning. He said lawyers from CAIR were only allowed to meet with Miraliev on Tuesday, despite being Miraliev’s representation.
Last week Boston magazine reported Miraliev, who is living in Todashev’s old Orlando apartment, was arrested by undercover officers on a warrant for allegedly threatening a victim of a crime, and questioned by the FBI before being held on a $50,000 bond.
Miraliev’s arrest is related to an incident in at the Ali Baba Hookah Cafe and Lounge in Kissimmee, Fla., according to Julissa Rizzo, assistant for the general council at the Osceola County clerk’s office.
In addition to the bond, Miraliev is being held on a federal detainer until he can be questioned by another federal agency, which by law the state is not allowed to name.
Shibly says Miraliev told him that the vast majority of his six-hour questioning was related to Todashev, not the offense he was arrested for; the charge of witness tampering, Shibly said, was only brought up during the final portion of the interview.
“They killed Todashev, and it’s an act of desperation,” Shibly said. “They are just trying to dig up as much dirt as possible to make their action of shooting an unarmed individual appear less heinous.”
A spokesperson from the FBI was not immediately available to comment on this story.