Hanafi Muslim spokesman Abdul Aziz was ordered yesterday to report to U.S. District Judge John J. Sirica next Wednesday for arraignment on an indictment that accuses him of illegally possessing firearms after he had been convicted of two felonies.
Aziz appeared before U.S. Magistrate Henry Kennedy Jr. yesterday for a preliminary hearing on his arrest on the new charge, but that proceeding was made moot by the Thursday indictment.
Aziz's attorney, Harry T. Alexander, accused the government of "high-handed" conduct in having the grand jury charges returned. But Kennedy said "the law in this city" is that an indictment negates the need for a preliminary hearing after arrest.
Assistant U.S. Attorney E. Lawrence Barcella Jr. said the bringing of the charges was "perfectly acceptable" conduct and reflected the finding by the 23 grand jurors that probable cause existed for Aziz' indictment.
Aziz remains free on a $5,000 bond.
In another development, Chief Judge Harold H. Greene of D.C. Superior Court denied a request that he release Hamaas Abdul Khaalis, alleged leader of the Hanafi takeover of three Washington buildings last month and the seizing of 134 hostages.
On March 11, as part of the negotiations that ended the takeovers, Khaalis, who is Aziz's father-in-law, was charged with one count of armed kidnapping and then permitted to go free without money bond pending grand jury action. On March 31, Greene ordered him jaild after prosecutors brought a charge of "threatening to do bodily harm" arising from a later incident.
One person was killed and several others were injured in the March takeovers