The Egyptian-born activist busted for blasting pink spray paint on a subway poster that called Israel’s Jihadist enemies “savages” filed motions today asking that her graffiti and criminal mischief charges be dropped in the interest of justice.
The longshot legal bid by Mona Eltahawy, 45, argues that she was singled out during her arrest for an overnight stay in jail, and that agencies including the CIA and Joint Terrorism Task Force may have been illegally and unconstitutionally monitoring her.
The motion also claims that Eltahawy was denied an attorney and improperly questioned in custody, and that the criminal complaint is defective and should be tossed because it wrongly names the MTA as the owner of the poster.
Prosecutors have until March 21 to file a response.
Eltahawy had been arrested in September for a videotaped spray paint-can confrontation with Pamela Hall in a Times Square subway station.
Hall is the president of “Stop Islamization of America” — which came to prominence by campaigning against the Ground Zero mosque — and the confrontation was set up and recorded by the group, Eltahawy says in her motion.
Eltahawy’s spray paint caused $248 in damage to MTA property, and $794 in damage to Hall’s clothing and Gucci eyeglasses, according to the charges.
“Hall was present during the incident with a TV video crew in full expectation of a confrontation over the ad’s content,” Eltahawy’s lawyer, Stanley Cohen, argues in the motion.
After a brief hearing on the case in Manhattan Criminal Court today, Cohen said that Eltahawy still intends to go to trial if the motion is unsuccessful.
He’ll argue at trial that Eltahawy had to deface the controversial poster, which read, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man,” and, “Support Israel, Defeat Jihad.”
“This is the defense of necessity, which is a recognized defense under the law,” Cohen said.
In his motion, he called the poster “ugly” and “racist,” and Geller and Hall’s group, “an extremist, Islamo-phobic hate group that has advocated hatred of Muslims while implicitly inciting violence against them in this city and elsewhere.”