'Big Mountain 5' trial delayed*
Maniaci Diné Bureau
POLACCA — The trial of five women arrested by Hopi police last summer on trespassing charges for their involvement in the oldest Sun Dance in the region has been postponed until Jan. 16 in the Hopi Tribal Court.
Final motions and a jury trial are scheduled to begin then.
The defendants are Louise Benally, a part-time resident of Hopi Partitioned Land Unit 262; Ruth Benally, a full-time resident of the same unit who signed a 75-year accommodation lease; Joella Ashkie, a full-time resident of the unit who lives with her mother; Elvira Horseherder, a Navajo Partitioned Land resident (relocatee) and Ruth's daughter; and Pauline Whitesinger, a full-time resident of Unit 259, who is a resister (the Navajo term) or non-signer (the Hopi term)...
*Reprinted under the Fair Use doctrine of international copyright law. http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html
Since the above article was published, a continuance was issued by the judge in the case. The new date for the trial is 27 February-01 March 2002. The e-mails below, from one of the attorneys on the case, verify the new date.
Al Swilling, Founder, SENAA International
From: "Larry Hildes"
A bit of a correction. The case was not in court on the 16th. The court granted a contiuance...to allow Joe [Washington] time to file a reply brief in support of his motion to dismiss based on religious freedom.
We are also adding several new lawyers on the case, myself, Lee Phillips, and Bob Malone, thanks to the Navajo Nation.
From: Larry Hildes
Right now, the trial is set for Feb 27-March 1 in Keams Canyon; however, I cannot do those dates, so Joe Washington is trying to get them changed.
I'll keep you posted.