Less than a week before three Minnesota men are scheduled to go to trial on charges of trying to join ISIS, a lawyer hired by the family of one of the defendants says the family hasn't paid him since September.
The trial for Mohamed Farah, 22, is scheduled to start Monday, and it's unclear if his attorney Murad Mohammad will continue to represent him then.
Out of the nine Minnesota men charged with plotting to join ISIS, only Farah and his younger brother, Adnan, retained private lawyers. The rest rely on court-appointed lawyers who are paid by the government.
In a motion filed on Tuesday, Mohammad asked the court to consider appointing him as counsel starting last September or "whatever time the Court feels is adequate."
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The court, through the Criminal Justice Act, provides representation for defendants with limited financial resources facing federal criminal charges.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Michael J. Davis denied Mohammad's request to be appointed as counsel in Farah's case.
During a motions heating in April, Mohammad told Davis that he's "competent and confident" to represent Farah at trial, after a co-counsel withdrew the case over comments made by a law clerk in the case.
Mohammad suggested that the court could consider appointing a co‐counsel to help him with the case.
In response, federal defender Katherian Roe contacted Mohamed and scheduled a meeting with him.
However, Mohammad did not show up for the meeting, according to Davis' order denying Mohammed's motion requesting the court appoint him as counsel.
"Now, less than one week before trial, Mohammad claims that his fees have not been paid and that Defendant does not have the means to retain consultants to aid in his defense," Davis said in the order. "Based on the file, records and proceedings herein and the submissions of counsel, the Court finds that counsel has failed to demonstrate that his appointment under the [Criminal Justice Act] serves the interests of justice in any manner."