[Ppnews] Muhammad Salah - trial update

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Dec 8 11:28:43 EST 2006

Two Articles Follow - neither source is progressive

Hamas-case trial told of '96 killing

American teen was slain in West Bank

By Rudolph Bush
Tribune staff reporter
Published December 8, 2006

The 1996 slaying of American student David Boim 
has run like a thread through the trial of a 
Bridgeview businessman accused of supporting the 
Palestinian extremist group Hamas.

On Thursday, Boim's death and a landmark lawsuit 
that followed it became the focus of attention in 
Muhammad Salah's terrorism trial.

Stephen Landes, an attorney for the Boim family, 
took the stand to back up charges that Salah lied 
under oath when he was questioned in the 2000 
lawsuit about alleged ties to Hamas.

The lawsuit had named a number of defendants as 
supporters of Hamas, including Salah and 
now-defunct pro-Palestinian groups such as the 
Quranic Literacy Foundation of Oak Lawn and the Holy Land Foundation of Texas.

"The purpose [of the suit] was to dry up money 
going to terrorist organizations," Landes said.

Landes recalled for jurors how Boim, 17, was shot 
in the head while waiting for a bus in the West 
Bank. Hamas took responsibility for his murder.

In 2004, a federal jury awarded his parents, 
Stanley and Joyce Boim, $156 million after 
finding that Salah provided support to Hamas.

In sworn interrogatories taken before the case 
went to trial, Salah did not admit to being a member of Hamas, Landes said.

Landes testified that Salah also claimed never to 
have participated in fundraising or training on behalf of Hamas.

Prosecutors allege Salah's sworn answers in the 
Boim suit were lies that obstructed justice.

Jurors already have heard testimony from Israeli 
agents that Salah confessed in 1993 to being a top member of Hamas.

Salah's attorneys have argued that confession was 
coerced through weeks of torture.

An American citizen, Salah was imprisoned in 
Israel from 1993 to 1997, when he returned to Bridgeview.

He and a co-defendant, Abdelhaleem Ashqar of 
suburban Washington, now face charges in federal 
court that they conspired to support Hamas.

On cross-examination Thursday, Salah's attorney 
Michael Deutsch sharply questioned Landes about 
the motivation behind the Boim lawsuit and what 
connection Salah could have to David Boim's death.

"Mr. Boim was killed in 1996, and Mr. Salah had 
been sitting in an Israeli prison cell for over three years," Deutsch said.

Deutsch also pressed Landes about the views of 
Washington attorney Nathan Lewin, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Boims.

"Do you know that Mr. Lewin has written that the 
families of Palestinian suicide bombers should be executed?" Deutsch asked.

"I have heard that," Landes responded.

In a courtroom filled with Salah supporters, many 
of them women wearing traditional Islamic garb, 
there was a collective groan at the mention of Lewin.

In a prepared statement, Lewin defended the 
Boims' suit, saying he followed the model of 
suits brought against the Ku Klux Klan. "My views 
regarding how to deter suicide bombers around the 
world has nothing to do with the Boim lawsuit," he said in the statement.

Deutsch suggested that Lewin's and Landes' goal 
was to shut down organizations that provided 
information in America about the Israeli occupation.

"We wanted to close down organizations we had 
reason to believe were affiliated with Hamas," Landes responded.


rrbush at tribune.com

Copyright © 2006, 
<http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/southsouthwest//>Chicago Tribune

December 7, 2006


Chicago Hamas Trial Update

By Steven Emerson

HAMAS Financier Takes Stand For Prosecution

Mohammed Shorbagi, a Mosque leader in Rome, 
Georgia who pled 
to providing financial support to Hamas earlier 
this year, testified for the prosecution at the 
end of November in the case of alleged Hamas 
operatives Muhammad Salah and Abdelhaleem Al 
Ashqar. FBI agents discovered Hamas documents in 
the Shorbagi’s home which were sent to him by 
Ashqar in 1995. When asked by the prosecution 
about Ashqar’s role as head of the Al Aqsa 
Educational Fund (AAEF), Shorbagi replied that 
the Ashqar’s responsibility was “to work toward the destruction of Israel.”

Shorbagi also testified about the role of Sheikh 
Jamil Hamami, listed as Hamas co-conspirator 
number five in the 
(acrobat). Hamami was a West Bank-based Hamas 
leader who traveled to the United States to raise 
money for Hamas through the Holy Land Foundation 
(HLF) and AAEF, and met with Ashqar in 
Mississippi. Shorbagi also attested to his 
contacts at the United Association for Studies 
and Research (UASR), another Hamas front organization in the U.S.

During cross examination, defense attorneys 
attempted to discredit Shorbagi, accusing him of 
being an unreliable witness who lied to the FBI 
several times in the past. Michael Deutsch, lead 
attorney for Muhammad Salah, asked Shorbagi about 
the interrogation methods employed by the Shin 
Bet (Israeli Security Service). Shorbagi claimed 
that his cousin had once been tortured by the 
Shin Bet saying, “I don’t remember specifics, but 
I do know there was some torture,” a comment 
which elicited commotion from Salah’s supporters in the courtroom.
Read More »

Former State Department Official Testifies For Prosecution

The next witness for the government was Robert 
Seibold, a former employee of the U.S. State 
Department who worked in head of the American 
Citizen Services Section in Jerusalem. Seibold 
testified that on March 19, 1993, he made a 
consular visit to Salah in his Ramallah prison. 
Salah complained of backaches to Seibold and 
relayed several messages that he wished to be 
sent to his family but did not say anything about any type of torture.

Court was recessed until this morning, with 
Seibold again taking the stand for cross examination.

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