Ramon ‘Hushpuppi’ Abbas on Monday scored an unexpected relief in his ongoing trial at the United States District Court for Central District of California, with his lawyers successfully convincing the judge to delay the sentencing after several days of fruitless appeals.
Judge Otis D. Wright in Los Angeles said Mr Abbas will now be sentenced on November 3, 2022, based on the court’s own motion, apparently after considering Mr Abbas’ desperate push from last week for a delay.
Prosecutors had opposed delaying the sentencing any further than September 19, arguing that Mr Abbas and his lawyers had prior knowledge of all related matters in the case and were only out to delay and frustrate the judicial process.
But Mr Abbas’ lawyers, led by criminal defence attorney Louis Shapiro, said the prosecutors were trying to railroad the judge into sentencing their client even as some issues were still outstanding. The lawyers also accused the prosecution in Central California of lacking human compassion and using underhand tactics to make their case for at least 11 years in jail for their client.
They also argued that since Mr Abbas would remain in prison during the postponement, it was not requested to satisfy the interest of the suspect, but only to ensure appropriate arguments are made as to the appropriate duration of a jail sentence.
Mr Wright had last week Thursday rejected Mr Abbas’ plea for a continuance, agreeing with the prosecutors that final sentencing should hold today at 1:30 p.m. But less than an hour to the scheduled sentencing, the judge ordered a postponement to November 3, which was the date Mr Abbas’ lawyers had requested.
Mr Abbas has been in U.S. custody since he was extradited from Dubai in mid-2020, languishing in prison amid fears he might constitute a flight risk. Today’s postponement would allow his lawyers to better prepare for sentencing, although it remained unclear if all documents would be made available from the prosecution.