Manhattan terror attack: Bike path suspect’s defense seeks fair treatment

This undated photo provided by St. Charles County Department of Corrections via KMOV shows the Sayfullo Saipov. (Source: St. Charles County Department of Corrections/KMOV via AP) Related News

A public defender representing a man accused of driving a truck down a bike path near the World Trade Center and killing eight people says it’s important to let the judicial process play out.

Federal defender David Patton is representing Uzbek immigrant and terrorism suspect Sayfullo Saipov. He says, “How we as a society treat Mr. Saipov will say more about us than it will about him.”

Saipov is accused of driving a rented truck down the bike path and mowing down pedestrians and bicyclists.

He appeared in court Wednesday in a wheelchair while handcuffed and with his legs shackled. He’s charged with providing material support to the Islamic State group and violence and destruction of motor vehicles.

He was ordered detained and did not enter a plea or seek bail. Federal prosecutors say the decision on whether to declare the New York bike path attack suspect an enemy combatant is made at a higher level.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said Wednesday federal prosecutors have charged Uzbek immigrant Sayfullo Saipov with two terrorism-related crimes in the Tuesday rampage, which killed eight people.

The White House earlier said President Donald Trump’s administration considers the truck attack suspect to be an enemy combatant, a designation meaning someone could face a military tribunal and not have the same rights as someone in a U.S. court. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Trump is open to sending the attacker to the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but isn’t calling on him to be moved there.

Saipov appeared in court Wednesday but didn’t enter a plea or seek bail.

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