Prosecutor: U.S. Muslim charity glorified Jihad and killing Jews By The Associated Press
"Look at all those videos. It seems like every song was about support of Hamas, about martyrdom, about jihad, about killing Jews," said prosecutor Jim Jacks.
"Can there be any doubt that these men were the leaders of Hamas in the United States, and that they were the fundraising mechanism?"
Last year's trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development ended in no convictions and a mistrial on most charges in the government's biggest terror-financing trial since Sept. 11, 2001.
Prosecutors say Holy Land funneled more than $12 million to Palestinian schools and charities controlled by the militant group Hamas after the U.S. government declared Hamas a terrorist group in 1995, which made supporting it illegal.
Holy Land was the largest Muslim charity in the U.S. before it was shut down in December 2001.
Defense attorneys, for their part, argued that the charity did not break the law by casting politics aside and aiding Palestinians under brutal Israeli occupation.
Elashi and former Holy Land chief executive Shukri Abu Baker are each charged with conspiracy, supporting a foreign terrorist organization, money laundering and filing false tax returns.
Tightening their case from the initial trial, prosecutors dropped most of nearly 30 counts against Mufid Abdulqader and Abdulrahman Odeh. The men still face three conspiracy counts.
Mohammed El-Mezain, a former Holy Land chairman acquitted on most charges in the first trial, is charged with one conspiracy count.
Linda Moreno, attorney for former Holy Land co-founder Ghassan Elashi, stressed the former Richardson, Texas-based charity's humanitarian work Tuesday and lambasted government evidence as old and irrelevant.
"For those who have been impoverished by politics and history and failed leadership, for all those generations of refugees that he helped feed and clothe and educate, Ghassan Elashi does not apologize for serving them, she told jurors," The Dallas Morning News reported online. "He knew the work of the Holy Land Foundation attracted enemies."
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