Convicted former Agriprocessor manager will appeal to higher court to new trial, attorney says
Trish Mehaffey • SourceMedia Group News
CEDAR RAPIDS – Former Agriprocessor vice president Sholom Rubashkin, convicted of bank fraud last year, will appeal a federal judge’s ruling Wednesday, denying his motion for new trial.
Guy Cook said the appeal will be filed with a higher court within 10 days.
“We maintain the previously undisclosed government documents raise serious questions about the due process afforded Rubashkin,” Cook said Thursday.
Rubashkin, 50, of Postville, requested the new trial based on the claim U.S. District Chief Judge Linda Reade unlawfully presided over his trial and should have recused herself. Rubashkin’s attorneys claimed Reade was involved in the planning of 2008 raid of the meatpacking plant where nearly 400 illegal workers were arrested.
Rubashkin’s attorneys acquired documents through a Freedom of Information Act request, which they say showed federal agents were in contact with Reade regarding the raid.
Reade denied the motion for new trial Wednesday, saying there was no new evidence discovered to produce an acquittal, the FOIA documents didn’t show any improper contact or activities and her recusal wasn’t required in the case.
Cook said they will also continue to pursue a FOIA lawsuit filed last year because the government didn’t respond to their request for documents regarding the raid. He didn’t receive the documents until after they filed the lawsuit and after Rubashkin was convicted.
“We will press for the undisclosed documents and the information that was redacted in the papers we received,” Cook said.
A federal jury in November convicted Rubashkin of 86 counts of bank, mail and wire fraud, money laundering and failure to pay livestock providers in a timely manner. The charges stem from the May 2008 raid.