Published: 06th February 2019
US fake University row: Detention hearing begins, only 1 of eight students released on bond
Since it is a high profile case that involves huge amount of data spanning four years, the attorneys are expecting the next hearing will be scheduled with a substantial time gap
Of the eight students-turned recruiters put on trial on the fake university row, barring one, all others have agreed to continue in detention. On Tuesday, the Telugu students appeared before the federal court for the detention hearing in the criminal case.
Even though the student Phanideep Karanti who was arrested from Kentucky has been released on an unsecured bond of $10,000 he has been accused of helping recruit hundreds of foreign residents to stay in the US illegally by enrolling in a fake University of Farmington. His lawyer faulted federal agents for entrapping the students."It's unfair for the government to set up something like this to entrap people," said his defense attorney John Brusstar.
Karnati, a father of two young children, is an information technology engineer in Louisville who came to the US a decade ago on an H-1B visa. The other students Santosh Reddy Sama, 28, from California, Avinash Thakkallapally, 28, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Naveen Prathipati, 29, of Dallas, and Aswanth Nune, 26, of Atlanta, consented to detention pending trial.
Defence attorney Edward Bazuka who is also representing one of the students said, "We have agreed to detention and my client will remain in custody. "He said that the students have not only been charged criminally but also have immigration hold which means that they would have been taken in immigration custody even if they were released from the current detention. "This involved the risk that there is that he might not get credit for the time they spent here in the federal custody if he is moved to the immigration custody. So strategic decision was made to not contest detention," said Bazuka. Further in case of sentencing at any point that requires jail time they will get credit for time they spent in the federal custody.In view of the high profile case, involving huge amount of data spanning four years, the attorneys are expecting the next hearing will be scheduled with a substantial time gap since the government has to provide them with all data -- emails, documentation, recordings-- they intend to use in the trail. "It will take a while to go over them but we want to wrap up the case as soon as possible," said Bazuka. More details pertaining to the case are likely to emerge within week said Venkat Mandana from American Telangana Association (ATA). "The next hearing will be a pre-trial or status conference which is more like an opportunity for judge to discuss the progress of the case and check with defense to see if they have received the data and documentation from the government.