Skip to comments.HLF Officials Convicted on All Counts
Posted on 11/24/2008 6:38:04 PM PST by nuconvert
DALLAS A jury convicted five former officials at the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) on all counts in the Hamas-support case after 8 days of deliberations.
The men, Shukri Abu-Baker, Ghassan Elashi, Mohamed El-Mezain, Mufid Abdulqader and Abdelrahman Odeh, could face up to 20 years in prison for their convictions on conspiracy counts, including conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. The verdicts, read Monday afternoon, ended a two-year saga in what is considered the largest terror financing case since the 9/11 attacks.
In the original trial last year, jurors acquitted El-Mezain on 31 of the 32 counts against him, but could not reach unanimous verdicts on any other counts, prompting a mistrial.
Prosecutors made a series of significant adjustments, from dropping 29 counts each against defendants Mufid Abdulqader and Abdelrahman Odeh, to adding new witnesses who could put the charity support in context. In addition, jurors in this trial saw three exhibits Israeli military officials seized from the Palestinian Authority which showed the PA also considered HLF to be a Hamas financer and that an HLF-supported charity committee was controlled by Hamas.
The result was a much more streamlined case that followed a logical narrative, said Peter Margulies, a law professor at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. Seeing the Palestinian Authority reach the same conclusion as the U.S. government had to have helped, he said.
In addition, prosecutors provided summary exhibits that served as "a road map" to the case and had to help jurors deliberate, Margulies said. "The jury was able to look at the evidence and get past the perceived biases of any of the witnesses and see the evidence as a whole."
That evidence made clear that the defendants knew where the money raised in the U.S. was going despite legal prohibitions against support for Hamas.
The verdict was hailed by M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Prosecutors prevailed because they were able to "connect the ideology of political Islam and the overriding mission of Islamist organizations like the HLF to their desire to contribute to the efforts of terror groups, like Hamas," he said. "When this connection is made we will see the return of a guilty verdict. In future [terrorism financing] cases DOJ will not only have to connect the financial dots but [will have] to demonstrate an overarching common Islamist mission."
Prosecutors say HLF was part of a Palestine Committee a conglomerate of U.S. based Muslim organizations and individuals committed to helping Hamas financially and politically. HLF was its fundraising arm, a designation formalized by Hamas deputy political director Mousa Abu Marzook in 1994. Support for Hamas became illegal with a 1995 executive order by President Bill Clinton and subsequent congressional action.
- Con't at source link -
Verdict reached in Muslim charity’s second trial
(convicted on all of the 108 charges)
Las Vegas Sun | Nov 24, 2008 | ap
Posted on 11/24/2008 1:08:18 PM PST by mdittmar
Of course the United States is giving money to the Palestinian Authority which is giving the money to Hamas I hear.
Old article relating to HLF & Hamas trial:
Obama’s Muslim outreach director resigns
By NEDRA PICKLER
WASHINGTON (AP) An attorney who volunteered to help Barack Obama improve his relationship with Muslim and Arab-Americans has resigned from the campaign amid questions about his connection to a fundamentalist imam.
Mazen Asbahi started as the campaign’s outreach coordinator on July 26, and he resigned in a letter to the campaign Monday. He said he was stepping down “to avoid distracting from Barack Obama’s message of change.”
Asbahi, an associate at the Chicago law firm Schiff Hardin, said in his letter that he served on the board of the Dow Jones Islamic Index Fund for a few weeks, but resigned “as I became aware of public allegations against another member of the board.”
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the other board member during Asbahi’s tenure in 2000 was Jamal Said, imam at a fundamentalist-controlled mosque in Illinois. The Justice Department named Said as an unindicted co-conspirator in the racketeering trial last year of several alleged Hamas fundraisers. The case ended in a mistrial.
The newspaper said the connections were first exposed by an Internet newsletter....
The Palestinian Authority pretty much is Hamas, with some Fatah thrown in for bad measure. Not dime one gets to the ethnically undifferentiated Arabs they rule by fear.