Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg hits back at ‘grandstanding’ Arizona prosecutor who refuses to

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Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Thursday accused an Arizona prosecutor of political “grandstanding” for refusing to send a New York City murder suspect back his jurisdiction.

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell on Wednesday said she’s instructed her staff in Arizona not to cooperate in any efforts to extradite Raad Noan Almansoori, 26, back to New York where he’s wanted in connection to the slaying of Denisse Oleas-Arancibia, 38.

Raad Noan Almansoori in white leggings New York City.
Raad Noan Almansoori in New York City.via NBC New York

Bragg accused Mitchell of “plain and simple, old fashion grandstanding and politics.”

“That should have no place in our profession,” Bragg told reporters on Thursday in New York City. “It is deeply disturbing to me that a member of my profession, a member of law enforcement, would choose to play political games in a murder case.”

Mitchell, a Republican, didn’t cite any particular case or complaint she had with Bragg, a Democrat.

“Having observed the treatment of violent criminals in the New York area by the Manhattan DA there, Alvin Bragg,” Mitchell said on Wednesday. “I think it’s safer to keep him here and keep him in custody so that he cannot be out doing this to individuals either in our state, county or anywhere in the United States.”

Almansoori is being held without bail in Arizona, where he’s been accused of stabbing two women.

A representative for Mitchell could not be immediately reached for comment on Thursday afternoon. But earlier in the day, Mitchell appeared on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” and insisted she’s looking out for the public good by not readily turning over Almansoori for a murder prosecution.

“I’m putting the victims first and making sure that he stays in custody,” Mitchell said.

Bragg said the ultimate decision over where Almansoori ends in court will come down to the governors of New York and Arizona, who are both Democrats.

“He is correct, the governor of each state, those are the individuals who sign off on an extradition demand,” said Anna G. Cominsky, who teaches criminal law at New York Law School. “Prosecutors are the ones who put together the demand, the required paperwork. But it’s the governor of the state who will then sign off and say, ‘This demand is proper.'”

And veteran Arizona criminal and immigration law attorney Michael Neufeld said he can’t recall ever witnessing this kind of extradition battle.

“I’ve never seen a county attorney object to an extradition for a much more serious crime,” Neufeld said. “When the crimes in one state are murder and the crimes in the other are not (murder), then typically, the other state just lets them have them.”

Representatives for New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs could not be immediately reached for comment on Thursday afternoon.

Mitchell is a veteran of high-profile political battles, having worked for Senate Republicans in the nomination fight for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.

She even touts her work on behalf of the GOP in the Kavanaugh hearings on her Maricopa County profile page, saying she rose “to national prominence” in the bitter partisan struggle.


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