[Ppnews] Political Prisoner, Al-Arian ordered to testify before grand jury

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Sep 27 14:20:53 EDT 2006

Al-Arian ordered to testify in case


His ex-lawyer believes this is a ploy to further 
punish Al-Arian, who will likely not testify and will be held in contempt.

Published September 25, 2006

Sami Al-Arian, who is seven months away from 
leaving prison, is about to be subpoenaed to 
testify before a grand jury in another 
terrorism-related case in Virginia, according to 
his former attorney, Bill Moffitt.

Al-Arian, who was serving his sentence at a 
prison 60 miles north of Tampa, has been moved to 
a county jail in Virginia, where he will be 
summoned to testify before a grand jury about an Islamic think tank.

“It is a clear violation of the plea agreement, 
which was supposed to end Sami’s business with 
the United States, and prosecutors know that,” said Moffitt.

Steve Cole, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s 
Office in Tampa, said, “We can’t comment on any 
activity involving Sami Al-Arian.”
Linda Moreno, Moffitt’s co-counsel, said, “The 
plea agreement doesn’t mention cooperation and 
that is intentional. That Dr. Al-Arian would not cooperate was negotiated.”

What this means, said Moffitt, is that Al-Arian 
will probably take the Fifth Amendment and refuse 
to testify, which will result in contempt 
charges. This could extend his sentence by 18 months.

In May, Al-Arian was sentenced to 57 months in 
prison as part of a plea agreement in which he 
admitted helping associates of the terrorist 
group Palestinian Islamic Jihad with non-violent 
activities. His release date was set for April 
13, 2007, because he had already spent several 
years in prison before and during the trial.

The agreement came five months after Al-Arian 
received not guilty verdicts in a jury trial, 
where he was charged with fundraising for the 
violent activities of Palestinian Islamic Jihad 
in Israel and the Occupied Territories. At the 
end of the six-month trial, a jury acquitted him 
on eight counts and hung on nine.

Al-Arian’s plea agreement stated that the 
Department of Justice could not “charge defendant 
with committing any other federal offenses known 

 at the time of the execution of this agreement.”

At the plea agreement hearing in April, federal 
prosecutor Cherie Krigsman specifically told the 
court that Al-Arian would not be charged in the 
Eastern District of Virginia, “with committing 
any other federal crimes known 
 at the time of this agreement.”

Krigsman mentioned the Eastern District of 
Virginia because of Al-Arian connections to the 
International Institute of Islamic Thought, a 
think tank in eastern Virginia. The IIIT is still 
being investigated by the federal government.

“It’s an outrageous violation of the agreement,” 
said Moffitt. “Sami is about finished and they’re piling on.”

Contact Meg Laughlin at 
<mailto:mlaughlin at sptimes.com>mlaughlin at sptimes.com or (727) 893-8068.
Copyright, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.

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