* Accused Times Square bomber waived legal rights daily
* Prosecutors say "uninterrupted access" needed to Shahzad
By Basil Katz
NEW YORK, May 20 U.S. investigators needed
"uninterrupted access" to the suspected Times Square bomber in
the two weeks between his arrest and court appearance,
prosecutors said on Thursday, seeking to explain the delay in
bringing him before a judge sooner.
Faisal Shahzad voluntarily waived his legal rights -- which
include access to a lawyer, remaining silent and a court
appearance within 48 hours of arrest -- every day, federal
prosecutors said in a May 12 letter released on Thursday.
"Uninterrupted access to the defendant has been, and
continues to be, critical to this process... to promptly verify
with him the accuracy of information developed in the
investigation," prosecutors said.
Shahzad, 30, appeared in court on Tuesday for the first
time since his May 3 arrest to face five felony charges,
including attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and
trying to kill and maim people. He faces life in prison if
The Pakistani-American is accused of parking a vehicle
containing a crude bomb in New York's Times Square on May 1,
which failed to detonate. He was arrested aboard a Dubai-bound
jetliner two days later and at his court appearance on Tuesday
was remanded in custody.
Law enforcement officials said Shahzad also had plans to
target other New York locations including Rockefeller Center
and Grand Central terminal.
After the failed Times Square attack and the arrest of a
Nigerian man accused of trying to bomb a Detroit-bound plane in
December, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has opened the door
to limiting the legal rights of terrorism suspects.
Republicans and even some of President Barack Obama's
fellow Democrats have condemned giving so-called Miranda rights
to terrorism suspects, saying it makes it harder to get vital
Prosecutors said that Shahzad had "without counsel,
knowingly and voluntarily waived his Miranda rights and
executed a written waiver of speedy presentment" on each day
since his arrest.
U.S law enforcement officials were pursuing leads provided
by Shahzad, the prosecutors said in the letter, parts of which
are blacked out.
(Additional reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky; Editing by Michelle
Nichols and Cynthia Osterman)