The father of Chelsea bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami has requested a public defender in New Jersey to represent his son, who remains hospitalized, unconscious and unable to speak, according to a letter the lawyer filed with a state judge on Thursday.
Public defender Peter Liguori, in a letter Thursday to a New Jersey Superior Court judge dated Sept. 22, said Rahami’s father, Mohammad Rahami, asked for his office to represent his son.
Liguori wrote that prosecutors wouldn’t let him visit with Rahami because Rahami remained unconscious.
Rahami, suspected of planting the Chelsea bomb and another in Seaside Park, New Jersey, was hospitalized in New Jersey after he was wounded in a shootout with police on Monday. The state has charged him with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.
The 28-year-old Rahami also faces federal terrorism charges in Manhattan federal court, where a legal technicality prevents the appointment of a federal defender there, according to court records.
As a result of his incapacity, Rahami was unable to make a scheduled court appearance Thursday in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Liguori wrote.
Since there was no court appearance, Liguori filed the letter with Judge Regina Caulfield to signal his representation of the defendant.
In the Manhattan federal court case, Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein ruled on Wednesday that since Rahami is technically not in federal custody, the court cannot appoint him a federal public defender to handle the New York charges.