WASHINGTON — The U.S. Court of Appeals on Thursday blocked the release of six prisoners convicted of refusing to testify in a Brooklyn, N. Y., grand jury's investigation of bombings attributed to FALN, a Puerto Rico terrorist group.
The three-member appeals panel, acting on a request from the federal government, temporarily stayed a release order issued by U.S. District Judge Barrington D. Parker. Under Parker's order, the prisoners were to be released Thursday.
The appeals panel ordered the government and the prisoners' attorneys to file briefs by Monday on the issues of Parker's jurisdiction over the prisoners' request for release and whether the U.S. Parole Commission may deny or grant release.
On Tuesday, Parker said testimony presented at a hearing last Friday indicated that the prisoners "do not present a threat of flight, nor do they present a danger to their communities." In its appeal of the order, the government argued that, if the six are released, "it may be difficult or impossible to secure" their return.