Accused Taxi Briber Will Stay in Jail, Judge Says
Yitbarek Syume, alleged leader of a bribery scheme targeting the D.C. Taxicab Commission, has been ordered to remain in jail pending trial, Jason Cherkis reports from the federal courthouse.
U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman's ruling this afternoon overturns an Oct. 9 decision by Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson to allow Syume to live in a halfway house pending trial. Prosecutors had asked that Syume be kept in jail due in part to comments he'd made on tape purportedly threatening the life of Abdulaziz Kamus, named in a Washington Post report as a FBI mole. On the tape, Syume can be heard saying Kamus will be "permanently eliminated" and that "they will come to him."
Robinson didn't see the comments as necessitating Syume's captivity; Friedman did. "The tape is clear that the intent was to kill Mr. Kamus," he said.
Prosecutors, in court today, told Friedman that Kamus and his family have been placed in protective custody because of the threats.