RECENT NEWS COVERAGE OF FEDERAL DISMISSAL
Sacramento Bee (Oct. 13, 2020) – Elk Grove doc’s federal indictment dismissed. Delays, COVID halted speedy trial, judge says
Elk Grove News (Oct. 14, 2020) – Federal charges dismissed against Elk Grove neurologist
India West (Oct. 16, 2020) – Northern California Federal Court Dismisses Charges Against Sacramento Indian American Neurologist
FEDERAL COURT DISMISSES CHARGES AGAINST PROMINENT SACRAMENTO NEUROLOGIST
SACRAMENTO, CA, October 13, 2020 – On October 9, 2020, a federal district court dismissed an indictment filed in 2018 against Dr. Firdos Sheikh, a prominent neurologist who had been charged with forced labor. The case was widely covered by news outlets in Sacramento including the Sacramento Bee, CBS 13, and Elk Grove Citizen.
From the start, Dr. Sheikh and her counsel had vigorously maintained her innocence. Recently, the Court considered a motion to dismiss the case on the basis that the government’s two-year failure to disclose exculpatory material supporting Dr. Sheikh’s innocence delayed her case significantly, pushing it into the COVID-19 pandemic and depriving her of her constitutional and statutory rights to a speedy trial. In dismissing the case, the Court noted that, “given the evidence presented in previous motions, the court can well understand the basis for defendant’s righteous frustration over not being able to have her case heard and decided when it could have.”
“This entire prosecution has been a nightmare for me and my family. I have been trying to plead my innocence for years and I am thankful the Court dismissed the case,” said Dr. Sheikh.
The Court found that it could have continued the trial date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as other courts have, but chose to not continue Dr. Sheikh’s case because continuing the case would not serve the ends of justice.
“The Court thoughtfully weighed the interest of Dr. Sheikh and the public and came to the only fair conclusion. It is more important now than ever for prosecutors to set priorities, examine evidence carefully, and pursue only righteous cases. In this case, the Court found that the government had not disclosed exculpatory evidence showing significant weaknesses in its case. Dr. Sheikh is an honest, hard-working woman who should never have been prosecuted,” said Yasin M. Almadani, counsel for Dr. Sheikh and a former federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of California.
In its ruling, the Court praised the American federal justice system as “the envy of the world,” and recognized its obligation “to safeguard the health and safety of the citizens it orders” to jury service. The Court’s order brought to light the multitude of issues courts currently face due to the COVID-19 pandemic and how each court must assess each case independently to determine what justice dictates. Dr. Sheikh’s dismissal appears to be a unique situation precipitated by the government’s delay in producing evidence supporting Dr. Sheikh’s innocence.
About the Attorney for Defendant
Yasin M. Almadani of Almadani Law, a Los Angeles law firm specializing in criminal defense, civil rights, complex civil litigation, and government-facing investigations and lawsuits. Almadani is an experienced trial lawyer who served as an Assistant United States Attorney for nearly a decade in both the Central and the Eastern Districts of California. Before entering public service, he was in private practice, where he represented clients in high-stakes, complex civil litigation of national significance. He may be contacted at [email protected].
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