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  • Court Denies Appeal of Holy Land Foundation and Leaders | Charity & Security Network
    addition because HLF s leaders were co defendants in the criminal trial there was a conflict of interest between them and HLF since HLF could have had different arguments and evidence in the trial As a result of this legal catch 22 about 5 million left over in HLF s bank accounts was forfeited to the U S government upon conviction A group of 20 U S nonprofits filed a friend of the court brief in the appeal arguing that the court should have required a showing of knowledge of the Hamas connection before the defendants could be convicted They argued that since the zakat committees were not on the terrorist list the lack of a knowledge requirement in the jury instructions would render thousands of foundations and charities in the United States vulnerable to criminal prosecution Despite this the appeals court said that since the defendants did not raise the issue and HLF was not properly before the court they would make no ruling on it This ambiguous result raises significant questions about how much charities can rely on Treasury s published list and what risk are associated with funding local charities in international programs Since partnering with local groups is often a best practice in international programs the ongoing lack of clarity on this issue is very problematic Other issues where the court rejected the defendants arguments include The content of the defendants speeches and statements about political issues in the Middle East could be admitted as evidence against them since the Supreme Court upheld use of speech in Holder v Humanitarian Law Project and was considered in the context of other conduct by the defendants The results of searches of HLF s offices without a warrant were admissible because HLF did not challenge the order blocking freezing

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Court_Denies_Appeal_HLF_and_Leaders (2016-02-16)
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  • Holy Land Prosecutor Contradicts Peter King’s Unnamed Source | Charity & Security Network
    was a legal maneuver and not to pursue charges against those entities listed The decision to indict or not indict a case is based upon an analysis of the evidence and the law said Jacks a U S Attorney who has served as a federal prosecutor for almost 30 years That s what happened in this case he added A spokesman for King said that the congressman stood by his letter s claims and that he was reliably informed that the decision not to seek indictments was politically motivated As previously reported this claim is contradicted by statements made by government attorneys from the HLF trials at both the Federal District Court for the Northern Division of Texas which tried the case and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals The opinions in both cases make it clear that the creation of the co conspirator list was a legal maneuver By naming co conspirators the government could use out of court statements as evidence that would normally be inadmissible as hearsay For additional background about the un indicted co conspirator list and how its release violated the listed parties due process rights under the Fifth Amendment click here Nathan Garret another prosecutor from the HLF trial and a former FBI agent said decisions were hashed out in often tough and pressure filled situations and conditions but always in my experience grounded in evidence and law On April 18 Politico and the Washington Post reported that the Bush administration had also declined to prosecute The first trial of HLF and its leaders ended in a hung jury on Oct 22 2007 The case was re tried and the defendants were convicted on Nov 24 2008 The appeal is now pending before the Fifth Circuit Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Holy_Land_Prosecutor_Contradicts_Peter_Kings_Unnamed_Source (2016-02-16)
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  • In Legal Wonderland: Holy Land Foundation's Appeal Reveals Gaps in Law | Charity & Security Network
    who will be the natural person representative of it Counsel for Elashi asked for time to consider the question and the next day told the court Unfortunately we don t know either of the current status of the Holy Land Foundation whether it exists even as an entity or Mr Elashi s status if it does exist And so although he has no personal objection to the joint representation I m afraid he cannot speak for the Holy Land Foundation at this point Counsel for Baker told the court T here is no one to answer those questions on behalf of Holy Land So we can t represent Holy Land under those circumstances we will simply withdraw from representing Holy Land and represent Mr Baker Transcript attached as Government Exhibit A to the Government s Motion for Remand July 22 2009 When the trial began the judge introduced HLF as a defendant unrepresented at trial July 20 2007 Trial Transcript As a result HLF did not put on a defense The first trial ended in a hung jury in October 2007 and in Novmeber 2008 the retrial ended with with conviction of all defendants In May 2009 Baker and Elashi were each sentenced to 65 years in federal prison and the others each received between 15 and 20 years HLF was unrepresented at sentencing but the court ordered its assets forfeited to the federal government Government Opposes Holy Land Attempts to Appeal On June 5 2009 Prof Ranjana Natarajan Director of the University of Texas School of Law National Security Law Clinic filed an appeal on behalf of HLF as their pro bono lawyer On June 12 2009 Acting United States Attorney James T Jacks filed a Motion to Strike the appeal saying the government is of the belief that there continues to be no authorized representative to speak or act on behalf of the defendant Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development As a result he said Natarajan s notice of appearance and appeal must be stricken from the record He did not mention that HLF s lack of an authorized representative is the direct result of government action Natarajan filed a response opposing the government s motion on June 22 noting that The government went forward with the trial and sentencing despite being fully aware that HLF was not present or represented in part because of the government s own actions She said this in absentia conviction violated HLF s Sixth Amendment right to confront evidence against it and its Fifth Amendment right to be present at trial and put on a defense She argued that the issue should be decided by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals not the trial court As Natarajan noted HLF was unable to make legal arguments in its defense that counsel for the five individual defendants would not have made including arguments that any arguable illegal activities of the former HLF officers and directors were not engaged in on behalf of or

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/HLF_Appeal_Reveals_Gaps_Law (2016-02-16)
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  • Exhibits and Transcripts from the Second HLF Trial | Charity & Security Network
    please click on the links Letter regarding Israeli s licensing of Al Razi Hospital USAID press release regarding April 2002 delivery of two humanitarian aid convoys to Jenin and Nablus The convoys delivered food water and urgently needed medical supplies to Ai Razi Hospital Portion of testimony from Edward Abington formerly the U S State Department s second highest ranking intelligence official about USAID s continued aid to the charity CARE report Final Implementation Report Emergency Medical Assistance Program details of USAID program USAID documen t from March 2005 regarding the procurement of medical supplies to several medical facilities in Gaza and the West Bank One day s testimony of Avi the government s alias for the expert Israeli witness On page 147 Avi discusses a connection between USAID and the zakat communities targeted by the government Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions News The latest headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies Reports Experts Blog About Us Staff Contact Search form Search Stay Up To Date Subscribe Publications The Latest News C SN

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/litigation/Exhibits_Transcripts_Second_HLF_Trial (2016-02-16)
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  • Holy Land Jury Deliberates When Aid is Support for Terrorism | Charity & Security Network
    seized from HLF offices and supporters homes Some show the defendants making speeches supporting Palestinian rights or participating in events where Hamas officials were present One video involved a defendant acting in a skit and pretending to kill an Israeli A defense attorney pointed out that many of these events occurred before 1995 when Hamas was designated as a terrorist organization by the U S government and constitute protected First Amendment political speech Prosecution witnesses included FBI Special Agent Robert Miranda who said HLF used known Hamas activists to speak at fundraising events On cross examination he admitted that these speakers were not listed as terrorists and it was not illegal to have them as speakers Miranda also testified that family connections establish a link between some HLF leaders and Hamas Defendant Ghassan Elashi s cousin is married to a high ranking Hamas leader who is on the government lists FBI Special Agent Lara Burns testified about an HLF letter referring to the zakat committees as ours and said that HLF contacts with the committees were Hamas leaders On cross examination Burns admitted that most of these individuals are not on any government watch list Two Israeli agents were allowed to testify anonymously in a closed courtroom One called Avi is an agent in Shin Bet the Israeli domestic security agency He testified that Hamas funding comes primarily from international groups like HLF and that the zakat committees are staffed by known Hamas members He said the Israeli military found materials praising suicide bombers in searches of zakat committee offices The defense presented evidence to discredit prosecution witnesses and establish that HLF s funds were spent for charitable purposes Defense attorney Nancy Holland asked why the zakat committees were not listed by the government if they really are linked to terrorism They also showed a video of staff from HLF s Gaza office delivering food to the family of an ambulance driver killed while attempting to assist a child wounded in a shoot out between Israelis and Palestinians The HLF paperwork referred to him as a martyr The five defense witnesses were Edward Abington former U S consul general in Jerusalem and a second ranking intelligence official in the State Department He testified that while posted in the Middle East he received daily intelligence reports from the CIA and never was told zakat committees had links to Hamas He said Israeli intelligence is unreliable He also described visits to zakat committee offices and described conditions in refugee camps Attorney and former member of Congress John Bryant who represented HLF between 1997 and 2000 He testified about his attempts to get guidance from the FBI and State Department on what groups were legal for HLF to fund he got no response to his inquiries He was never told HLF could not work with zakat committees George Washington University Professor Nathan Brown who said the testimony of Avi relied too heavily on press accounts and other documents without any context He supported

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Holy_Land_Jury_Deliberates (2016-02-16)
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  • Charity Leader Sentenced to 33 Months for Tax Evasion | Charity & Security Network
    they will file an appeal Seda s Attorney Steven Wax says he s pleased with the outcome I think it is very significant that he found that the government had not proven any link between Mr Seda and any use of the money in Chechnya for any illicit purposes Seda had been convicted on money laundering and tax evasion charges in September 2010 He was released in January after post trial evidence revealed that the prosecution may have altered documents and the FBI paid 14 500 to a prosecution witness but failed to notify Seda s attorneys before the trial Al Haramain Islamic Foundation Oregon was shut down by the Department of Treasury in 2004 in a proceeding that has been held unconstitutional by the federal court in Oregon The case is now on appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit The charity is also known for winning the first judgment against the United States for an illegal wiretap of its communications with its attorneys The government is appealing that ruling Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/node/656 (2016-02-16)
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  • Judge: No New Trial for Seda | Charity & Security Network
    Judge Michael Hogan s ruling We anticipate that many of the issues will be raised on appeal Seda s attorney said In October 2010 Seda was convicted on money laundering and tax evasion charges He was released in January after post trial evidence revealed that the prosecution may have altered documents and the FBI paid 14 500 to a prosecution witness but failed to notify Seda s attorneys before the trial Al Haramain Islamic Foundation Oregon was shut down by the Department of Treasury in 2004 in a proceeding that has been held unconstitutional by the federal court in Oregon The case is now on appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit The charity is also known for winning the first judgment against the United States for an illegal wiretap of its communications with its attorneys The government is appealing that ruling Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions News The latest headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies Reports Experts Blog About Us Staff Contact Search form Search Stay Up To

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/No_New_Trial_for_Seda (2016-02-16)
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  • UPDATE: Request for More Evidence of Prosecution’s Misconduct in Seda/Charity Case Denied | Charity & Security Network
    had been made The request came six days after documents filed by the prosecutor s office shed light on several mistakes in the government s handling of the case An evidentiary hearing is scheduled for March 1 In October 2010 Seda was convicted of tax fraud charges relating to alleged funding of Chechen rebels fighting Russia He was released in January after post trial evidence revealed that the prosecution may have altered documents and the FBI paid 14 500 to a prosecution witness but failed to notify Seda s attorneys before the trial As part of their efforts to win a new trial attorneys for Seda argue that they need more information about the prosecution s actions to determine the extent of their misconduct In their request for a hearing they wrote The importance of providing access to the material sought is underscored by the fact that the material provided to date by the government is rife with inconsistencies and incomplete accounts and statements strongly suggesting that more specific information exists In documents filed on Feb 18 prosecutors said the witness who received the payment Barbara Cabral was not a crucial witness and its omission was a mistake not a deliberate attempt to gain an advantage and that the error was harmless They are asking the court to not grant a new trial Seda had been charged with conspiracy to defraud the U S government and filing a false return with the Internal Revenue Service Prosecutors say Seda conspired in March of 2000 to launder 150 000 to militants in Chechnya Seda s attorneys say the money was a charitable donation that his accountant forgot to disclose on the charity s tax forms Al Haramain Islamic Foundation Oregon was shut down by the Department of Treasury in 2004 in a

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Evidence_Prosecution_Misconduct_Seda (2016-02-16)
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