John E. Faraclas testified yesterday that a Hanafi Muslim gunman ordered him to sit by a window in the District Building "so my body body would act as a shield" in case police should fire at his captors.
Faraclas, one of 15 persons taken hostage in the City Council offices last March 9, told a D.C. Superior Court jury that then gunman, later identified as Abdul Munkir, 22, also known as Marquette Anthony Hall, ordered him to get up on a filing cabinet. The filing cabinet was next to a window he said.
"My hands and feet were tied," said Faraclas, who is president of the Restaurant Association of Washington. "I told him I don't think I could get up there.
"He said, 'Get up there anyway.' I used a waste paper basket. I kicked it over and hopped on it. I turned my back to the cabinet, put my elbows on the cabinet and got up on it.
Faraclas said Muzikir ordered a woman hostage to place a chair on the cabinet. He said the chair was wobbly and that gunman then told him to sit on the cabinet.
"He had me face him so my body would act as a shield if anyone fired into that window." Faraclas said.
Faraclas took the witness stand as the trial of 12 Hanafi Muslims resumed on charges of murder, kidnapping and conspiracy in the take-over of the District Building and two other Washington locations from March 9 to March 11.
In all, 149 hostages were taken. More than 100 were captured at the International headquarters of B'nai B'rith, the Jewish service organization, at 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW. The others were taken at the Islamic Center. 2551 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
Maurice Williams, 24, a reporter for radio station WHUR, was killed at the District Building. Others injured by gunfire there were City Council member Marion S. Barry Jr., Robert J. Pierce, a Council aide, and Mack W. Cantrell, a building guard who died Monday after a heart attack.
Mizikir and Abdul Nuh, 28, also known as Mark E. Gibson, are the only two defendants charged with actual participation in the District Building events.
But all 12 Hanafis are charged with the murder of Williams on the theory that all 12 were acting as part of a conspiracy to force officials to turn over to them five Black Muslims convicted of murdering seven members of the family of Hamaas Abdul Khaalis, 55, alleged leader of the Hanafi group.
The murder charge against all 12 defendants hinges on the conspiracy charge, according to court officials, the conspiracy charge, hinges on evidence that the Hanafi at all three locations acted together.
Faraclas and George W. Porter, an assistant Corporation Counsel who was taken hostage with him, testified yesterday that police in the hallway shouted telephone numbers to Muzikir and Nuh and asked for the telephone in the office where he was in return.
"The police were pretty clear that they wanted (Muzikir and Nuh) to have these numbers, and they did mention that (the other Hanafis) were at other buildings, and that their leader was at the other building," Faraclas said.
Prosecutors have previously introduced notes written by the Hanafis at the District Building bearing the telephone numbers of the Islamic Center and the B'nai B'rith building, where Khaalis allegedly led the take-over in person.
Porter testified that he heard police tell the District Building Hanafis that "the people at B'nai B'rith want to talk to you."
He said Abdul Nuh answered the telephone on several occasions and said, "Yes, Hamaas," to whoever was calling. Faraclas said Muzikir referred to Khaalis as his "father" many times during the siege. On cross-examination by Harry T. Alexander, a former Superior Court judge who is Khaalis' attorney, Faraclas said he had told police that Muzikir referred to himself as the "the son of Khaalis."
Earlier yesterday defense attorneys agreed that Abdu Nuh's fingerprints had been found on a knife seized by police from a U-Haul truck used by the Hanafis to transport a small arsenal of weapons to B'nai B'rith headquarters.
In another development Raymond S. Voorhees, a Metropolitan Police Department firearms specialist, testified that missiles removed from the bodies of Williams, Barry and Pierce were all double-o buckshot. This is the same kind of ammunition that was seized at the District Building when the siege there ended.
Voorhees came to court with a piece of cardboard that the prosecution proposes to enter into evidence. It shows the dispersion of buckshot fired from the type of weapon allegedly used by Muzikir compared to another shotgun at different ranges.
At the request of Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin J. Linsky, one of the prosecutors, Voorchees demonstrated that a silver dollar would just about cover the shot pattern made at a range of two yards.
Last week Dr. Robert John Neviaser, an orthopedic surgeon, testified that the wounds in the arm and back of Pierce, who is now paralyzed from the waist down, about the size of a silver dollar.