[Ppnews] Prosecution Rests at Muhammad Salah Trial
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Dec 13 08:45:28 EST 2006
Prosecution Rests at Hamas Trial
Wednesday December 13, 2006 4:01 AM
By MIKE ROBINSON
Associated Press Writer
CHICAGO (AP) - After two months of testimony, federal prosecutors
rested their case Tuesday against two men charged with funneling cash
and fresh recruits to Hamas terrorists trying to topple the Israeli
U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve sent jurors home until next week,
when defense lawyers are to call witnesses.
Closing arguments in the racketeering conspiracy trial of former
Chicago grocer Muhammad Salah, 53, and former university professor
Abdelhaleem Ashqar, 48, of Alexandria, Va., may not come until after
a holiday break.
Salah was arrested in Israel in 1993 and served 4 years in prison
there before his release and return to Chicago. Prosecutors say
$90,000 was found in his hotel room in Israel, money they contend was
meant to help Hamas rebuild its military structure.
Salah says that he is not a Hamas member and that the money was
destined for Palestinian charities.
Ashqar, once an adjunct professor of business at Howard University in
Washington, controlled a number of bank accounts that prosecutors say
supplied cash to Hamas. He also says the money was for charity.
Salah claims he was tortured by Israel's Shin Bet security service
into admitting he was aiding Hamas. Former New York Times reporter
Judith Miller, however, testified that he appeared ``jaunty'' at the
interrogation and that she saw no evidence he was being tortured.
Prosecutors led off the trial in October by calling two Shin Bet
interrogators who testified under aliases in a courtroom that had
been cleared of spectators that Salah was not mistreated by their
Salah's lawyer, Michael Deutsch, said he hopes to call two witnesses
who are experts on Shin Bet interrogation methods, and Israeli human
rights attorney Avigdor Feldman, who represented Salah before a
military tribunal in that country.
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