Published, September 26th, 2007. To Whom It May Concern:

I was angered when I read “Suddaby Tapped for Judgeship,” by Mark Weiner and
Jim O’Hara, on the Post-Standard website. The article stated that
“[Suddaby’s] office prosecuted Dr. Rafil Dhafir, a Manlius oncologist, on
charges he planned to use charitable contributions to support a terrorist
organization in Iraq. Dhafir was sentenced in 2005 to 22 years in prison.”

This statement is false. The government never charged Dhafir with terrorism other than through media smear. He was never allowed to defend
the terrorism charge in court. When it became clear that Dr. Dhafir was in
no way, shape or form associated with terrorism, Suddaby’s office
manufactured some bogus charges of Medicare fraud in order for the
prosecution to save face. The result was that a man who had devoted his
life to healing the sick
, who provided chemotherapy free of charge to cancer
patients who could not afford it, and who gave over one million dollars of
his own money to help indigent Iraqis, was sentenced to prison for 22 years.

I thought that one of the reasons that George Bush invaded Iraq was to
help those who were being persecuted by Saddam Hussein? Yet an American
citizen who does just that is falsely convicted and sent to prison by a Bush
appointee…how ironic.

Considering Suddaby’s history of overzealous prosecution with little
evidence and his reliance on smear campaigns and entrapment to obtain
convictions, I hardly see him as a “middle-of-the-road, smart, effective
guy” as Senator Schumer describes him. Furthermore, there is reason to
believe that his prosecutions of Dr. Rafil Dhafir, Aref and Hossain were
motivated by political pressure to obtain trophy convictions in the war on
terror. I urge all who care about the carriage of justice to contact their
representatives and let them know that Suddaby is not fit to be a judge.

Rafi Ziauddin

Response to Rafi Ziauddin’s letter, published September 30, 2007:

Dhafir not jailed due to ‘bogus’ charges

To the Editor:

In his letter Sept. 26, Rafi Ziauddin stated that Dr. Rafil Dhafir was found guilty of “manufactured” bogus charges of Medicare fraud.”

Would these be the same charges his wife pleaded guilty to? (I believe I read in The Post-Standard that she pleaded guilty to Medicare fraud.) Would it be fair to say that had Dr. Dhafir pleaded guilty to those “manufactured bogus Medicare fraud charges,” as his wife did, he would still be in Manlius, “healing the sick and helping indigent Iraqi’s”?

Bob Stewart

Katherine: I hope that the Post-Standard will publish the Dr. Dhafir Support Committee letter that was sent to them and Mohamed Khater’s letter, then perhaps Bob Steward might begin to get a fuller picture of just what the government has done in the Help the Needy case. The Weiner/O’Hara article also erroneously says that Dhafir was funding terrorist organizations in Iraq; there were no terrorist organizations in Iraq when Saddam Hussain was in power, Hussein had a monopoly on terror.