News

Raniere makes third attempt at bail – wants immediate release with ‘no bail conditions’

Keith Raniere’s attorney, Marc Agnifilo, has filed a motion with the court to have his client released on bail with “no conditions” whatsoever.

This represents Raniere’s third bail motion. His first bail request offered a $10 million bond. His second was $1 million. Now, he seeks to get out of jail with no bail at all.

Agnifilo claims it’s the prosecution’s fault that the trial has been delayed and out of “fundamental fairness” and “due process,” Raniere, who’s spent 10 months in jail already, should be released.

In the alternative, Agnifilo says Raniere stands ready to again offer a $1 million bond if he can get out of jail and live at home subject to home detention and GPS monitoring.

On January 25, Agnifilo submitted the motion requesting Raniere’s release based on “the Government’s violation of 18 U.S.C. § 3164 and the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.”

18 U.S.C. § 3164 reads that for “a detained person who is being held in detention solely because he is awaiting trial …. shall be accorded priority [and] The trial…  shall commence not later than ninety days following the beginning of such continuous detention… Failure to commence trial of a detainee as specified … shall result in the automatic review by the court of the conditions of release. No detainee, as defined in subsection (a), shall be held in custody pending trial after the expiration of such ninety-day period required for the commencement of his trial.”
Agnifilo argues that Raniere qualifies for release under the law.

“When Congress stated that incarcerated defendants SHALL get priority, this is specifically what Congress was seeking to prevent,” Agnifilo wrote and he blames the prosecution.

Agnifilo explains, “Raniere must be released as a matter of fundamental fairness under the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution, as (1) the Government has NEVER stated it was ready to try this case, (2) the Government has stated repeatedly that it possessed discovery material that it was refusing to provide to an incarcerated defendant because of a ‘continuing investigation,’ and (3) the Government has engaged in a provable and intentional pattern of delay so as to avoid trying an incarcerated defendant who has continually proclaimed his innocence.

“Through no fault of Raniere’s, but through the Government’s efforts, he has now has been detained for ten months and will have been detained for fifteen months by the end of the trial. At virtually each adjournment, Raniere has demanded that the Government that incarcerated him with bold, false claims of his dangerousness and risk of flight actually try him. And, at each adjournment, the Government cleverly—using all the tricks in its apparently bottomless bag of adjournments—has managed to avoid a trial.

“In Title 18, United States Code, Section 3164, Congress stated with simple and remarkable clarity a principle that has been systematically violated in this case: ‘the trial … of cases involving a detained person who is being held in detention solely because he is awaiting trial… shall be accorded priority.’

“… the Government has systematically violated this rule. Rather than giving the trial of Keith Raniere the priority that Congress mandated, the Government has engaged in a clear campaign to avoid the trial by delaying discovery, refusing to meet and confer with defense counsel regarding discovery (even when ordered to do so by this Court), and refusing to turn over discovery in its possession due to the pending investigation since the inception of this case….”

In the event the judge won’t release Raniere based on his “Due Process application,” Agnifilo has renewed Raniere’s bail application with “an increase in the collateral supporting a bond.”

Agnifilo says there is a suretor [unnamed], who will post $300,000 in cash to secure the $1 million bond.

Aginfilo proposed 10 conditions for Raniere’s release:

(1) A $1M personal recognizance bond.

(2) The bond shall be secured by five properties, with the owners of the properties signing onto the bond. [The property addresses were redacted in the motion.]

Several other people—the identities of whom will be provided to the government and the Court in advance of any hearing, will also sign onto the bond, offering cash amounts to secure the bond: [The amounts of cash each will pledge have also been redacted in the motion.]

(4) The defendant shall be on full home confinement in Brooklyn, NY or Clifton Park, NY until the trial begins.

(5) The defendant will be electronically-monitored by a GPS device that tracks his every movement.

(6) The defendant shall not leave the location of his home confinement, except for emergent medical matters and scheduled court appearances; his lawyers will be obligated to travel to this location for any meetings, and he must check in with his pretrial officer every day.

(7) When the trial starts, or if the defendant’s presence at court is required on a more regular basis, he will live at a location near the courthouse and will be accompanied by one of his attorneys from that location to the courthouse.

(8) The defendant shall not communicate with anyone by phone or in person aside from his attorneys or authorized members of their staff or unless his attorneys are present.

(9) The defendant shall have access to a computer to review the discovery provided in this case, but no internet access.

(10) Surrendering of the defendant’s passport and an agreement not to secure new travel documents.

***

Of course, home detention would provide Raniere an opportunity to escape, if he so chose.

He has been denied bail twice. It seems unlikely the judge will reverse himself and find Raniere is no longer a flight risk or danger to the community, after concluding he was in earlier decisions.

Raniere proposes to be left alone, in an unguarded home. Some of his followers have millions and are dedicated to him. The fact that he has to report daily to his pretrial officer by phone means little. He could call them by day and sneak out one evening, and board a private plane headed to a land where there is no extradition treaty.

Perhaps recognizing that he won’t be granted bail on a $1 million bond, Agnifilo put most of his emphasis on the alleged improper behavior of the prosecutor, laying out in detail how he believes the prosecution deliberately delayed the case as Raniere remains behind bars.

Agnifilo writes, “the constant adjournments of the trial date are solely due to the Prosecution’s conduct. When Raniere first stated he was not waiving anything [inc. speedy trial], the Government indicted Raniere and Mack, knowing Mack would not consent to a July [trial] date. When the Court set an October date, the Government superseded the Indictment adding four defendants, knowing they would not consent to an October date without the benefit of all discovery. Then, in disregard of this Court’s Order, the Government refused to meet and confer with defendants regarding discovery forcing defendants to file a discovery motion. When this Court sent the parties to meet with Judge Scanlon, the Government finally started turning over material that had been in their possession for six months, but then executed new warrants so that defendants would have even more terabytes to review after the December 7th deadline. Now, the Government is sitting on even more discovery that they will not produce until six weeks before jury selection. Now, after dumping 3 terabytes of discovery on defendants on January 11th and 44 gigabytes on December 7th, the Government tells this Court ‘it would be appropriate for the Court to adjourn [] the current trial date’ to accommodate the non-DOS defendants’ request to review the Government’s own tardy discovery. … A problem of the Prosecution’s own making is now leading them to request a trial adjournment, keeping Raniere in prison in violation of his rights, all the while insisting he sits in prison while they continue their investigation. Even if the Court ‘[does] not determine with precision the amount of pretrial delay attributable to the prosecution, nor assess the extent to which the Government may [be] at fault in contributing to the delay,’ it is clear that the Government ‘bears a responsibility for a portion of the delay significant enough to add considerable weight to [Raniere’s] claim that the duration of detention has exceeded constitutional limits.’”

***

In essence, Raniere has two shots to get out.  I would rate the probability of Raniere getting out on bail with $1 million bond – as extremely unlikely.  I can only imagine the chagrin and embarrassment of the judge if Raniere fled the jurisdiction, like any rat released from a cage might do. The media would blame the judge, not Raniere, especially if Pretrial and the prosecutor oppose his release if Raniere fled.

***

And although the likelihood of Raniere being released without any bond is also extremely remote, Agnifilo’s attack on the prosecution might produce what he really wants: i.e., the next superseding indictment. Because once he sees what other crimes Raniere (and at least some of his co-defendants) are going to be charged with, Agnifilo will be able to undertake all sorts of new filings – and get a good start on his billable hours target for 2019.

Viva Executive Success!

About the author

Artvoice

News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: