[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 Samis business with
the United States, and prosecutors know that, said Moffitt.
Steve Cole, spokesman for the U.S. Attorneys
Office in Tampa, said, We cant comment on any
activity involving Sami Al-Arian.
Linda Moreno, Moffitts co-counsel, said, The
plea agreement doesnt 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-Arians 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.
Its an outrageous violation of the agreement,
said Moffitt. Sami is about finished and theyre 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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