[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,
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 Shorbagis home which were sent to him by
Ashqar in 1995. When asked by the prosecution
about Ashqars role as head of the Al Aqsa
Educational Fund (AAEF), Shorbagi replied that
the Ashqars 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 dont remember specifics, but
I do know there was some torture, a comment
which elicited commotion from Salahs 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.
The Freedom Archives
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