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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Holy Land Foundation Verdict In, Sealed Until Monday

Holy Land Foundation Verdict In, Sealed Until Monday

October 19, 2007

Holy Land Foundation Verdict In, Sealed Until Monday

October 19, 2007 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Adding an extra note of tension to what has been an already stressful 19 days of deliberation, the jury in the United States' most significant terror prosecution was handed down late Thursday afternoon, but sealed until trial judge A. Joe Fish returns to town to read it before the court on Monday.

That the verdict will remain sealed until next week is unusual from several perspectives; with the presiding judge not being available, U.S. Magistrate judge Paul Stickney was acting in his capacity but did not have the authority to read the verdict. Under more normal conditions another Article III judge [appointed by the president] would have been called in for that purpose.

Upon being notified by the jury foreman that a verdict was at hand, judge Stickney consulted with judge Fish by telephone who then came to the decision, additionally complicated in that the majority of the prosecution team was also out of town, to seal the verdict until he returned. http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=hlf10.19.07%2Ehtm


Deliberations Continue In Holy Land Foundation Terror Prosecution

October 18, 2007 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org Entering their 19th day of deliberations, the jury in the Holy Land Foundation [HLF] trial have shown no sign that they are any nearer to a verdict than they were a week ago when they indicated that a juror was refusing to deliberate; a matter which resulted in a stern lecture by trial judge A. Joe Fish.

The HLF prosecution, perhaps the most important in U.S. history is unique from several perspectives not the least of which has been the naming of prominent U.S. Muslim organizations, including the Council on American Islamic Relations [CAIR] and the Islamic Society of North America [ISNA], as unindicted co-conspirators.

The case is a complex one, [see, Holy Land Foundation Prosecution Backgrounder] relying on a blizzard of testimony and documentary evidence, that weaves what lead prosecutor James T. Jacks stated in his opening remarks that HLF existed for the sole purpose of funding the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas and that HLF engaged in a conspiracy to hide its motives, "because to tell the truth is to reveal what they were all about, the destruction of the state of Israel and replacing it with a Palestinian Islamic state."

The defendants in the case are, Shukri Abu Baker, Mohammad El-Mezain, Ghassan Elashi, Haitham Maghawri, Akram Mishal, Mufid Abdulqader and Adulrahman Odeh.

Elashi is especially interesting since he also founded the Texas chapter of CAIR and was immediately prior to this case found guilty and sentenced in the Infocom terrorism prosecution. Elashi was admonished by the judge during the trial for telling the jury, "This trial is an extension of a Zionist conspiracy." [see, CAIR Kingpin Elashi Admonished By Judge In Holy Land Foundation Prosecution]

Of concern to counter terror researchers is that during the jury selection process judge Fish did not participate at all in the process called voir dire - the questioning of potential jurors, but rather deferred, allowing both the prosecution and defense attorneys to select the jury.

The judge's acquiescence in this matter leaves some to believe that some members of the jury might be hostile to the government's case on political grounds and the basis for the jury's apparent deadlock.

If the deliberations result in a mistrial, government prosecutors have already indicated that the case will be retried. http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=hlf10.18.07%2Ehtm

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