A Buffalo, N.Y., judge issued a subpoena Friday for the notes of a television reporter’s interview with 44-year-old Muzzammil Hassan, who is accused of beheading his wife in 2009. Erie County Judge Thomas Franczyk also prohibited Hassan from doing any on-camera interviews.
WGRZ-TV reporter Claudine Ewing interviewed Hassan off-camera last Wednesday at the Erie County Holding Center. During the 50-minute interview, Hassan admitted killing Aasiya Zubair Hassan, 37, and said he “felt an incredible amount of relief” after the murder, according to a report on WGRZ's website.
WGRZ received the subpoena Monday morning and plans to fight it, News Director Jeff Woodard said.
“We’ve never had this happen to my knowledge here, so it was quite surprising,” Woodard said. “As a journalist, you’re concerned what ramifications this case will have. I’m confident in our legal team and New York’s shield laws.”
Hassan is accused of beheading his estranged wife in the hallway of the Bridges TV studio. Hassan and his wife founded Bridges TV in 2004 in order to promote better understanding between Middle Eastern and Western peoples.
Hassan later turned himself in to the Orchard Park Police station, according to news reports.
“Mr. Hassan never wavered once in what he said,” said Defense Attorney Julie Rogers. “He’s definitely not shy in speaking about his case.”
During Ewing’s interview with him, Hassan said he acted in self-defense, and that, “200 times, I got beaten up. She pulled my hair, punched, slapped, bit and sit on me.”
His trial is scheduled for next January.