A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments Monday on veteran defense attorney Robert Simels’ motion for bail pending appeal. Simels was convicted in August of conspiring to bribe and threaten witnesses on behalf of a client, drug kingpin Shaheed Khan. Last month, Eastern District of New York Judge John Gleeson sentenced Simels to 14 years in federal prison and denied his motion for bail, ordering him to report to prison this Friday, Jan. 8. Simels appealed.

On Monday, his attorney, Barry A. Bohrer of Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason, Anello & Bohrer, contended that Simels’ appeal contained several “substantial questions” entitling Simels to bail under 18 U.S.C. §3143(b), including at least three issues of first impression for the 2nd Circuit. Most of the 20-minute arguments focused on Gleeson’s decision to allow the government to impeach Simels with jailhouse recordings the judge earlier suppressed as violating Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968.

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