Judge Unseals Verdict in Holy Land Foundation Case
October 22, 2007
Monday morning U.S. District Judge Joe Fish, in the case against Holy Land Foundation, unsealed the verdict after 19 days of deliberation, acquitting the five defendants on charges of aiding terrorists abroad. Due to the fact that the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision on many of the 197 counts brought against the Holy Land Foundation, the judge ordered a mistrial in the case.
In this landmark case, President Bush announced the designation of the Holy Land Foundation, based in Dallas, Texas as a terrorist organization. He made this announcement at a press conference in the Rose Garden four days after a request from then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Since then, many other Muslim charities based in the US were similarly designated, their assets frozen and their operations completely disrupted.
The Muslim community is concerned with the raids and the freezing of assets of Muslim charities which have taken place without specific evidence that the institutions are guilty of supporting terrorism. MPAC believes that the lack of relief and aid organizations operating in the Palestinian territories directly exacerbates the humanitarian crisis. In effect, the US government is oftentimes seen as turning a blind eye to the economic, medical and political crises in Palestine. The human consequence directly affects the importance of winning the hearts and minds of those in this region.
MPAC remains committed to engaging with government officials to ensure that humanitarian agencies continue to provide relief aid to needy populations around the world. Additionally, if the jury finds the defendants not guilty, the prosecution must revisit the validity of naming over a hundred individuals and organizations as un-indicted coconspirators in the case.
MPAC will continue to provide analysis on this case when further information is provided.
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