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American Taliban's Parents Speak

Aired January 24, 2002 - 09:43   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Something very important is happening outside federal district court where John Walker's attorney, James Brosnahan, is speaking to reporters. His parents are expected to speak right after this.

Let's listen.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

JAMES BROSNAHAN, JOHN WALKER'S ATTORNEY: ...couple of things that he would like to say to you.

Thank you very much.

FRANK LINDH, JOHN WALKER'S FATHER: We met with John this morning, for the first time since he was picked up. And we're very greatest to see that John is in good physical condition. We were troubled to find out he didn't get medical treatment until transferred to the U.S. Navy ship. He did not have it at Camp Rhino. But John is in good condition this morning.

John loves America. We love America. John did not do anything against America. John did not take up arms against America. He never meant to harm any American, and he never did harm any American. John is innocent of these charges.

Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go ahead, Marilyn.

MARILYN WALKER, JOHN WALKER'S MOTHER: It's been two years since I last saw my son. It was wonderful to see him this morning. My love for him is unconditional and absolute. And I'm grateful to God that he has been brought home to his family, me, his home, his country.

BROSNAHAN: Let me just finish for a second. There won't be any other comments today. In every criminal case, there are motions. There will be motions in this case. We will not discuss them ahead of time, because we have respect for the judge. The judge has to rule on the motions. The motions will be filed; you will all read about them. In fact, you will see on TV lawyers talking about what kind of motions we are going to do, and all that. But we will not be talking about them until they are there, and we will not be talking, as I say, about the trial or any of that. We look forward to working with you under the rule; that's the court's rule, it's there for a good reason. And we look forward to working with you in the months ahead.

And that's all we have to say. Are we going to say anything else today? No.

Are we going to say anything else today? No.

QUESTION: Mr. Brosnahan, you did put out a statement...

BROSNAHAN: No.

QUESTION: Mr. Brosnahan, you did put a statement about the letter that the family received.

BROSNAHAN: Yes.

QUESTION: I just wondered, since you already put out that statement, could you tell about that letter, please?

BROSNAHAN: Be happy to. Yesterday, at approximately 1:00, the Red Cross delivered a letter from John, which he sent on the 8th of January, and in that letter, John told us that he was comforted by the fact that his family has gotten him a lawyer and he had received some communications. And so that was good.

And more than that, he expressed that his physical condition was pretty good and that they shouldn't worry about him. I think he's been trying to convey that.

But over the 54 days, I guess maybe five letters have been sent. the Red Cross does a great job. That's one of the things that they do, convey letters to people, prisoners of war or whoever they might be. But they were stopped in this case from doing that.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: You are saying that he was denied his constitutional right to a lawyer.

BROSNAHAN: I am saying today only this, and the rest will be in the motion. Excuse me for a second. I'm sorry. From December 2, John Lindh asked for a lawyer -- repeatedly asked for a lawyer. And the officials who have commented on this case -- it's not a personal matter -- the officials who have commented on this case knew that. Everyone that had anything to do with passing on what should happen with John Lindh you may be assured was informed of all the details, including the fact that he was asking for a lawyer from the 2nd of December, some 51 or 52 days ago.

We are done. I thank you very much.

ZAHN: There you have it: James Brosnahan, the attorney that John Walker's parents have hired to represent him, saying that from December 2, John Lindh's father made a request for legal representation. Earlier today, when a federal prosecutor held a news conference, he wouldn't answer any questions about the concern that the Walker family has made that their son had no representation up until this morning, when Mr. Walker was allowed to meet with his attorney before going into this preliminary hearing.

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