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Defense Attorney: Kang Pushed to Commit Crime

Wayne Yoshioka

The Federal District Court in Honolulu did not approve the pre-trial release of the Hawai’i-based soldier charged with acts of terrorism.  But the soldier’s attorney requested and was granted a key motion.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 

Army Sergeant First Class Ikaika Kang is charged with acts of terrorism and appeared in Federal Court for a detention hearing. Kang’s attorney, Birney Bervar, says he did not contest the detention but requested a full mental health evaluation.

“The first thing we’re going to do is something the Army and government did not do and that is get a full mental health examination of Sergeant Kang.  I’m working on contacting appropriate mental health professionals to do such an evaluation.  We don’t have anything set in place, yet.”

Bervar says a mental health examination is not always required in all cases but believes there was adequate justification to do so.  He also repeated his concern about numerous red flags in the case.

“According to the government in their complaint he was counseled, is the vague term they used.  And then, nothing was done.  I think at that point there should have been somebody to step in, offered a hand, to pull him back.  But instead, it looks like they just pushed him and pushed him to get him to commit a crime so that they could arrest him for.”

Bervar says he expects the next scheduled hearing on July 24 will be an arraignment and plea.   Wayne Yoshioka, HPR News.

Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka is an award-winning journalist who has worked in television, print and radio in Hawaiʻi. He also has been on both sides of politics as a state departmental appointee and political/government reporter. He covered Hurricane Iwa (1982) as a TV reporter; was the State Department of Defense/Civil Defense spokesperson for Hurricane Iniki (1992); and, commanded a public affairs detachment in Afghanistan (2006). He has a master's degree in Communication from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and is a decorated combat veteran (Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and 22 other commendation/service medals). He resides in Honolulu.
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