Authorities from Bergen County interrogated Aakash in January 2012 for over two hours without the presence of his parents or any attorney, regarding the firebombing incident at a synagogue in Bergen County. He was later arrested on March 2, 2012 for his alleged involvement in firebombing of a synagogue, in Bergen County, New Jersey and charged with 30 counts, including arson, conspiracy, criminal mischief, and other charges.
On March 2, 2012, initial bail was set at $2.5 million dollars with John Molinelli leading the prosecution and Judge Liliana DeAvial Silebi at the bench.
On March 22, 2012, bail hearing, Judge refused to reduce the bail based on allegations that Aakash had a map of school, which later was discovered that the map belonged to a construction company and was found in garbage.
Aakash’s defense attorney filed for an appeal and after several delays, Appellate court judges agreed with defense and reduced the bail to $1 million dollars on May 21, 2012.
Appellate court declared
the original bail was excessive and constituted/represented an abuse of discretion.”
“difficult to determine the likelihood of Dalal’s conviction on the most serious charges…”
Aakash’s family and supporters raised the required bail amount and met in court on June 27, 2012 after few more delays.
Without any previous notification to defense attorney on that day, additional charges of conspiracy to kill the prosecutor and judges, were filed against Aakash and in turn the bail was raised to $4 million dollars
In September, 2012 a motion was filed to recuse Judge Silebi from the case, based on possible conflict of interests, (because of her personal relationship with Asst. Prosecutor’s wife) which was first denied. After repeated attempts, and several months delay, she recused herself from the case in November, 2013.
Several motions were filed by defense and denied, including Bail reduction. On June 6, 2013 motion for reduction in bail was denied, with a clause that would not allow defense to even appeal that decision.
On February 18, 2014, Judge Edward Jerijian heard the three motions that were filed by defense attorney
- dismiss first set of charges
- dismiss second set of charges
- Motion for recusal of Bergen county justice system from this case All three motions were denied
While legal process continues painfully slowly, Aakash has been in solitary confinement in 6”x8” cell with few exceptions now for over 2 years. His little cell without window is used to house other inmates on a temporary basis probably when there is no other room left in prison to house them.