Muhammad Abdul Aziz is suing the state of New York “for serious miscarriages of justice” months after being exonerated in the killing of civil rights icon Malcolm X, according to CNN.
Aziz seeks $20 million from the state after he was wrongfully convicted of first-degree murder in 1966 along with Khalil Islam. The now 83-year-old man was exonerated of the high-profile crime last month along with Islam following a 22-month investigation.
“As a result of his wrongful conviction and imprisonment, Mr. Aziz spent 20 years in prison for a crime he did not commit and more than 55 years living with the hardship and indignity attendant to being unjustly branded as a convicted murderer of one of the most important civil rights leaders in history,” according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also references Mujahid Halim‘s testimony, where he claims he was the one who pulled the trigger. “Neither of them [Aziz and Islam] had any involvement with the murder of Malcolm X,” the document claims. Halim was the third man convicted in the case and is serving a life sentence.
The “Manhattan district attorney’s office and lawyers for the two men found that prosecutors and two of the nation’s premier law enforcement agencies — the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York Police Department — had withheld key evidence that, had it been turned over, would likely have led to the men’s acquittal,” The New York Times reported.
The suit further claims Aziz suffered physical injuries, emotional and mental distress, and other damages during his 20-year incarceration. He was released from prison in 1985.
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