Finding of Credibility for Dr. Saami Shaibani

Transcript of Ruling

The accompanying transcript was produced by the court for the Memorandum Decision in the matter of David Aesoph -v- Douglas Weber, Circuit Court, Hyde County, SD (docket: 03-5). 


Honorable Kathleen Trandahl stated a number of opinions:   


“this testimony by Flick lends credibility [emphasis added, et seq] to Dr. Shaibani’s testimony at Aesoph’s trial” (page 13, lines 20-21);


“this court finds that it was reasonable for Shaibani to believe at the time he testified at Aesoph’s jury trial that he was still affiliated with Temple University since no one from Temple University told him otherwise, orally or in writing” (page 14, lines 19-22);


“Dr. Shaibani’s testimony at the Aesoph trial and the habeas hearing does not amount to perjury” (page 15, lines 17-19); and,


The court finds his testimony credible” (page 15, line 19).



These opinions were based on the following determinations of fact from the testimony given by the official representative from Temple University, who:


indicated that she had discovered “a September 27, 2001 letter written by Dr. Edward Gawlinski, Chairman of the Physics Department, which incorrectly stated that Shaibani had never been a clinical associate professor of physics at Temple University” (page 11, lines 3-6);


also explained that “she had found additional documents in 2004 which related to Dr. Shaibani’s affiliation with Temple University, subsequent to her September 27, 2003 response in the Peterson murder case” (page 11, lines 12-15);


said that “she met with Dr. Gawlinski in preparation for the 2004 Aesoph habeas hearing, had reviewed his inaccurate September 27, 2001 letter with him” (page 12, lines 10-12);


went on to say that she had “found that Gawlinski remembered receiving Shaibani’s status-report letters” (page 12, lines 12-13), which contradicts his September 27, 2001 letter;


added that “Gawlinski had put Shaibani’s letters “in file cabinet 13, or the wastebasket” but that he had found one such letter” (page 12, lines 14-15);


testified to “the fact that Dr. Gawlinski received letters from Shaibani informing him of his activities as a “clinical associate professor of physics” after his written appointment had expired” (page 13, lines 4-6);


continued that “she could not find any letters written by Gawlinski which would have informed Shaibani that his appointment at Temple University had ended on August 31, 1998” (page 13, lines 6-9);


also explained that “she had not uncovered any letters written by anyone else at Temple University which might have informed Dr. Shaibani that his affiliation with this institution was over in 1998” (page 13, lines 9-11); and,


acknowledged that “despite being on notice, Temple University had not to date taken any informed action, against Dr. Shaibani at any point, to keep him from using its name” (page 13, lines 12-14).

To view a complete copy of the transcript, please click here.