Eyewitness: Inside the courtroom with terror suspect

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by By STEVE STOLER / WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on September 25, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 19 at 6:16 PM

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DALLAS - The 19-year-old Jordanian man accused of trying to bomb the 60-story Fountain Place tower walked into a federal courtroom at 10:50 a.m. Friday morning.

Twenty-eight minutes later, the hearing was over.

Hosam Maher Husein Smadi walked into a federal courtroom the same way he left the Lew Sterritt Justice Center, wearing the same black shirt and pants he was arrested in.

Smadi looked solemn in handcuffs and shackles. The handcuffs were removed.

U.S. Magistrate Irma Ramirez read the teenage Jordanian his rights and asked him several questions: "Do you have a copy of the complaint? Do you understand the charges? Do you want a court appointed attorney".

Smadi answered quietly "yes" to all the questions, with a pronounced accent.

Smadi's lawyer is Richard Anderson, who was appointed to the case an hour before he walked into the courtroom.

"We have a 19-year-old boy who's scared, who doesn't have any family hardly at all in this country, and somewhat of a language barrier," said Anderson.

The judge told the 19-year-old man he has the right to be in contact with the consulate of his native country, Jordan.

Smadi is under an immigration hold, but waived his option to have a detention hearing.

His lawyer, speaking on Smadi's behalf, said his client asserted his Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights, to have an attorney present when he's questioned on any matter, including his immigration status.

U.S. Marshalls put the handcuffs back on and led Smadi out of the courtroom.

Smadi will be back in the same federal court on October 5th for a probable cause hearing. Until then, he will be held at the Federal Detention Center in Seagoville.

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