NEW YORK, April 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Having been deported from the United States by immigration authorities decades after serving as a key informant in an investigation led by then-United States Attorney Rudolph Giuliani that targeted a global drug trafficking ring based in New York, Macedonian National, Adnan Asan, has resumed his fight to return to the United States. Asan's cooperation led to the ring's collapse and his deportation has caused him to live a life on the run from those he testified against—many of whom live in villages throughout Macedonia.
"Mr. Asan is challenging his guilty plea on account of the Supreme Court's 2010 Padilla v. Kentucky decision," said Raymond Lahoud, Asan's attorney and a member of Baurkot & Baurkot, a leading deportation defense law firm. "Mr. Asan was railroaded in 1983 and was forced to sign a plea agreement that told him that he would not face deportation. Further, knowing that potential deportation was a huge concern to Mr. Asan, both his defense attorney and individuals working for Mr. Giuliani assured Mr. Asan that he would not be deported," added Lahoud, who practices both deportation defense and federal appellate law, "the Padilla Court held that defense counsel must inform a client about any immigration consequences of a guilty plea and that failure to do so would render that plea unconstitutional. Here, Mr. Asan was specifically told he would not be deported when the opposite was true. Padilla clearly invalidates Mr. Asan's plea and we expect that he will be given the opportunity to withdraw it."
"If I was told that I was going to face deportation, I never would have cooperated or pled guilty. I would have went to trial because there was little evidence against me," said Asan, speaking from an undisclosed location in Macedonia. "I listened to my former attorney and Mr. Giuliani's staff when agreeing to cooperate. Not only was I deported, but those who I testified against were also deported," continued Asan, "now, my life is in danger and I do nothing but hide—living each day with the constant fear that I will be killed. Time and again, I was assured that if I cooperated and pled guilty, I would not be deported. I was railroaded by Mr. Giuliani's administration and my attorney at that time went along with the government and misadvised me."
"We are challenging Mr. Asan's plea in the Southern District of New York and believe that we will prevail. The circumstances surrounding Mr. Asan's plea agreement are no different than those in Padilla," said Lahoud, "had Mr. Asan's questions been answered, he would have not pled guilty. Instead, because of the misinformation he received, Mr. Asan cooperated, pled guilty, was sentenced to probation and entered the witness protection program. Out of nowhere, immigration picked him up and sent him away. His plea was anything but voluntary."
"In entering the witness protection program, I expected protection. Instead, I was thrown into Macedonia where I am surrounded by people who want to kill me," said Asan, "I pled guilty not knowing that my sentence was that of death."
Noting that his Client's fight to return to the United States will "be a long and hard battle," Lahoud stated that "Mr. Asan is ready to win, no matter what it takes."
Baurkot & Baurkot (www.nationalimmigrationlawyers.com) is a leading deportation defense law firm headquartered in Easton, Pennsylvania, with offices throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. The Firm defends individuals in deportation proceedings across the United States.
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SOURCE Law Offices of Baurkot & Baurkot