A US judge overturns the convictions of two defendants for the murder of Malcolm X

A New York judge has ordered this Thursday to annul the convictions issued in 1966 against two men accused of murdering the civil rights activist Malcolm X in 1965, considering that they were “wrong”, following a joint request from the Prosecutor’s Office and the association Proyecto Innocence.

They are Muhammad Abdul Aziz, present in the room, and the late Khalil Islam, known at the time as Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson, who spent two decades in prison accused of having participated in the death of Malcolm X.

The black leader lost his life on February 21, 1965, when three men shot him as he was about to give a speech in an auditorium in Manhattan, New York.

Judge Ellen Biben accepted the request for exoneration due to the appearance of new evidence and the discovery that the FBI and the New York Police hid evidence during the process that would have helped the defense of the accused so that they would not be convicted. Before the sentence was read, Abdul Aziz, who is now 83 years old, assured that from the beginning he and his relatives knew the truth about his innocence and considered the process “corrupt”, but pointed out the importance of this “being officially recognized”. After the decision, several of those present in the Supreme Court room broke into applause.

Three daughters of Malcolm X asked for the case to be reopened

In addition to Abdul Aziz and Islam, Mujahid Abdul Halim (also known as Talmadge Hayer or Thomas Hagan) was also charged and sentenced to life imprisonment, who during the trial acknowledged having participated in the murder, although he insisted that the other two defendants did not have nothing to see.

The Manhattan Prosecutor’s Office, which has come to court accompanied by lawyers and representatives of the Innocence Project, already reported in February 2020 that it was reviewing the case of Malcolm X and that it had met with representatives of the Innocence Project after a documentary series of Netflix will raise questions about two of the men convicted in the case. Last February, the activist’s family disclosed that they had received a posthumous confession from a police officer implicating the New York Police (NYPD) and the FBI in his murder.

Malcolm X’s three daughters, Qubiliah, Ilyasah and Gamilah Shabazz, called on authorities to reopen the civil rights leader’s case in light of “new evidence” presented by a family member of a deceased undercover cop named Raymond Wood. Wood confessed in a letter before his death that the police and the FBI conspired to “undermine” the civil rights movement, and that their mission was to infiltrate it to encourage its leaders and members to commit crimes.

In the letter, signed in 2011, the deceased police officer explained that his task was “to find evidence of criminal activity and that the FBI could discredit and arrest its leaders”, and that “under the direction” of his superiors he encouraged its members to “commit criminal acts”. Wood said he was responsible for the arrest of two members of Malcolm X’s security team days before the public address at the Audubon Ballroom in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, where he was shot to death.

About a year before his murder, Malcolm X had left the Nation of Islam, the group to which the three defendants belonged, prompting death threats from members of that community.

Source: ElDiario.es – ElDiario.es by www.eldiario.es.

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