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Syed Fai Defense Sentencing Memo

Syed Fai Defense Sentencing Memo

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Published by Emily Babay

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Published by: Emily Babay on Mar 29, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Sentencing Date: March 30, 2012
 )Defendant. )
Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai submits this sentencing memorandum in support of his request fora sentence of probation with a lengthy period of home or community confinement, restitution,community service and a three year period of supervised release. The sentence requested is“sufficient, but not greater than necessary” to achieve the purposes of sentencing set forth in 18U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2).Dr. Fai is a 62 year old American citizen who was born in the disputed region of Jammuand Kashmir, India.
As set forth below, the seriousness of his offenses is substantially mitigatedby the unspeakable suffering of the Kashmiri people that motivated his crimes, as well as hisdemonstrated remorse. There is no need to imprison Dr. Fai to prevent him from committingfurther crimes, given his extraordinarily low risk of recidivism, as well as his recognition that hisconduct has destroyed his credibility as an autonomous interlocutor for peace among hissupporters and foes alike.
The territory referred to as Jammu and Kashmir is disputed among China, India and Pakistan.Pakistan refers to it as Indian-occupied Kashmir. The United Nations calls the territory Indian-administered Kashmir. The regions under the control of Pakistan are referred to as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir or PoK within India.
Case 1:11-cr-00561-LO Document 59 Filed 03/26/12 Page 1 of 33 PageID# 492
Since 1989, almost 80,000 people have been killed in Kashmir. In 2010 there werenearly 700,000 Indian soldiers in Kashmir. After mass, non-violent uprisings in the streets of occupied Kashmir in 1989, members of the American Kashmiri community became active inurging the U.S. government to urge implementation of the United Nations Security CouncilResolutions on Kashmir and help bring peace to the disputed territory. In 1990, Dr. Fai andothers joined together to establish the Kashmiri American Council (KAC) with this samepurpose. Dr. Fai was elected by KAC’s board of directors as its first (and only) ExecutiveDirector. It has been his singular aim to bring all the parties to the conflict together, without pre-conditions, to reach a negotiated settlement.In the early 1990s, Dr. Fai was approached by an official at the ISI with an offer toprovide funding to KAC. The initial contact was made through a Pakistani American namedZaheer Ahmad. By accepting the funds offered by Pakistan, Dr. Fai hoped that KAC wouldbecome a financially robust organization capable of advancing the peace process in Kashmir.His approach since KAC’s inception was to find a solution to the stalemate by creating aconstructive atmosphere for dialogue between India, Pakistan and the Kashmiri leadership.Among other things, Dr. Fai organized international peace conferences to which he invitedgovernment officials, academics and interested parties from India, Pakistan and Kashmir.(Exhibit 1, Schedule and List of Speakers of Various International Kashmir Peace ConferencesOrganized by KAC). These costly conferences produced Conference Reports written byrenowned journalists (Exhibit 2, Conference Reports), as well as Conference Declarationsadopted in some instances by representatives from the governments of India, Pakistan and theregion of Jammu and Kashmir. (Exhibit 3, Conference Declarations). Dr. Fai also traveled to
Case 1:11-cr-00561-LO Document 59 Filed 03/26/12 Page 2 of 33 PageID# 493
3over 40 countries seeking the support of government and non-governmental organizations,academics, journalists and representatives of the Kashmiri indigenous resistance seeking asolution to the Kashmir problem, consistent with the 17 United Nations Security Council andUnited Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) resolutions on the future status of Kashmir. (Exhibit 4, United Nations Resolutions).Because he needed financial resources, Dr. Fai was willing to accept funding from anydonor that was willing to contribute as long as there were no strings attached to the receipt of thefunds. He knew, however, that disclosing the fact that Pakistan was funding KAC’s programsand initiatives would undermine his credibility with his constituents and particularly withgovernment of India and the indigenous Kashmiri resistance.The United States and the defense strongly disagree about the significance of the schemeto conceal the source of funds KAC received from Pakistan. For this reason, the defensebelieves it is important to dispute mischaracterizations of the offense conduct such as thestatement of a confidential witness in ¶ 13 of the Presentence Report that “the ISI created theKAC to propagandize on behalf of the government of Pakistan” and “the ISI has been overseeingthe defendant for decades.” It should first be said, however, that Dr. Fai fully admits that heengaged in the conduct set out in the Criminal Information and Statement of Facts. He readilyadmitted concealing his connections with Pakistan in documents filed with the Internal RevenueService and in statements to the federal agents investigating his activities. He also admitted thathe knowingly provided straw donors with letters supporting fraudulent charitable deductionsthey intended to claim on their personal income tax returns and is therefore responsible for$344,150 in unpaid taxes.
Case 1:11-cr-00561-LO Document 59 Filed 03/26/12 Page 3 of 33 PageID# 494

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