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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Holy Land Foundation Guilty On All Counts!

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.


Source: the Investigative Project on Terrorism


Hallelujah!!!

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