Sunday, August 12, 2007

Holy Land terror finance trial

From The Dallas Morning News Thursday, August 9, 2007, By JASON TRAHAN ...
The federal judge presiding over the Holy Land Foundation terror finance trial ordered his courtroom cleared of spectators Thursday as a secret agent for the Israeli Defense Forces took the stand.

The agent, referred to only by the pseudonym Major Lior, testified through a translator about a cache of documents, videos and posters that his team of commandos seized during raids on several charity committees in the Palestinian territories between 2002 and 2004.

Prosecutors say these zakat, or charity, committees are controlled by Hamas and contend that Holy Land's support of them amounts to illegal support of terrorists.

.....This is only the second trial in which Justice Department prosecutors have put Israeli secret agents on the stand. The other was a similar terrorism-support trial of an Illinois used-car dealer and a co-defendant. That case ended in acquittals.

Defense frustration seemed to spill over into the cross-examination of the Israeli agent. Attorney Linda Moreno grilled him and his translator about whether his team got any kind of court order, or warrant, before seizing the documents. "You're not contending the Fourth Amendment applies outside the U.S., are you?" Judge Fish asked her at one point.
Later, as Ms. Moreno questioned the major about a school where his team seized evidence, she asked whether his "soldiers knock on the door of the places they are about to invade."

....The government argued in a brief that there is no other way to get such evidence, as the Palestinian government is now ruled by Hamas, which won a majority of parliamentary seats in election last year. And under U.S. law, what's classified by the Israeli government is classified here....

No comments: