New Grand Jury Subpoena Served in UC-Santa Cruz Investigation May10

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New Grand Jury Subpoena Served in UC-Santa Cruz Investigation

FBI agents serve activist with a subpoena to appear at a grand jury investigating 2008 arson in Santa Cruz.

Update 5/11/2012: A second person has also been subpoenaed. Please read the update from Jose Palafox posted in the comments.

A heads-up that Jose Palafox in California has been subpoenaed to a grand jury by FBI agents. From the subpoena, it appears the grand jury is investigating a fire set at the home of a UC-Santa Cruz animal researcher in 2008. There was no claim of responsibility for the fire, and there is no evidence activists were responsible. Nonetheless, the incident became the impetus for the “AETA 4″ case, which saw the indictment of four Bay Area activists before charges were dismissed in 2010.

If there are more subpoenas served, I will be posting here.

The full statement from the person subpoenaed reads:

“”I HAVE BEEN SUBPOENAED BEFORE A GRAND JURY

On Friday May 4th, I was approached by two FBI agents at the BART Station at 19th and Broadway in Oakland. They asked my name, identified themselves as Carrie and Matt from the FBI, and served me a subpoena to testify before a federal Grand Jury. They informed me that I had been served and left without asking me any other questions.

From the face of the Grand Jury Subpoena, it appears related to an animal rights action that took place in Santa Cruz in August of 2008. I know nothing about the Santa Cruz action but believe this is a political prosecution and part of a government attempt to gather information on activists, specifically involved in the animal rights movement.

I will be getting a lawyer and plan to exercise my rights to the fullest extent. If anyone else receives a similar subpoena or a visit from the FBI, you can contact the National Lawyers Guild for advice on you rights.

This is the second time I have come into contact with the FBI. A couple of years ago, I had to deal with the Oakland Police Department regarding a private criminal matter, unrelated to activism, and without my knowledge was interviewed by an FBI agent. He began to ask me questions about my activism and political affiliations. I asked what agency he was from and I immediately stopped answering any questions. Probably unrelated but you never know.

I feel that it is important to let folks know about this political repression and to let people know that I will be needing support. However, the lawyer I did briefly speak with advised me not to answer any questions about the facts the case. I can talk about what the government’s allegations are and what is happening with court appearances but I can’t answer questions about the facts so please don’t ask.

in solidarity, Jose Palafox, 5/9/12″

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