Thursday, October 13, 2011
FBI affidavit sheds light on testimony never given in Aloun Farms human trafficking case
by Larry Geller
Several people I’ve spoken with believe that the Aloun Farms owners were found innocent of human trafficking by the federal court. In fact, the case was dismissed without any finding of guilt or innocence. The jury issued no verdict. Since Judge Mollway dismissed the case with prejudice, the same criminal charges cannot be brought against the Sou brothers by the government.
End of story? Not quite. Defendants will be back in federal court on November 3 as they seek compensation for their legal expenses. The action has resulted in the filing of new documents in the case. One of them, posted below, reveals information gathered by the FBI in the development of the case against the brothers.
By now you may have viewed the Al Jazeera video Food Chain Slaves—see Al Jazeera video interviews Thai workers on their living conditions (10/11/2011). If not, you can watch it here. The video has been running in sequence with other features from Monday through Wednesday. It makes a good prelude to tackling the FBI affidavit.
Click the thingy in the lower right corner for full screen.
Below the video are some documents you’ll want to read to learn the story that never got told in court.
Defendants Mike and Alec Sou have petitioned the court for return of their attorney’s fees. In response, the Department of Justice has filed a reply which is the second document below.
The first is the one you may want to read if you read only one. It is an affidavit by FBI Special Agent Gary Brown who was the lead agent in developing the case against the Sou brothers. The dismissal of the case does not negate his investigation, and this affidavit, provided as an exhibit in the Department of Justice response to the demand for attorney’s fees, paints as clear a picture of the government’s case as the public is likely to see for some time.
Had the case proceeded in federal court in Honolulu, Special Agent Brown was scheduled to be called as a witness. That was not to be, but now we have his affidavit as a suggestion of how his testimony might have gone had he been called. For the record…