November 27, 2008

Holy Land charity case revisited

That's not a pun on the fact that the 108 charge trial had to be conducted twice in order to get guilty verdicts for each of the charges. It's just I did an earlier post on the same subject. Since posting that, I've been looking for information on the case and it looks very dodgy indeed, the case that is. Basically what has happened is that, in America, a Muslim charity for Palestinians in Gaza has been accused and found guilty of funding Hamas. At first I couldn't see much about it but I must have been googling the wrong few words. The Guardian's report is appalling. I won't post it here but it omits almost every crucial fact.

Whilst noting that this was the second trial of the same 108 charges it did not note that the mistrial verdict was reached after 19 days of deliberation. In the second trial, each of the 108 charges was sufficiently watertight to secure verdicts of guilty beyond reasonable doubt! How so? The question was addressed, after a fashion, in the LA Times.

At no time did the prosecution argue that the officers of the charity were involved in any violent activity, nor was it suggested that they funded any violent activity. This too got a mention in the LA Times article and according to Alternet, the organisations funded by the charity were engaged in education and welfare and the same organisations were also funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the International Red Cross.

And how's this for a judicial precedent:
Over fervent objections from the defense, the judge in the Holy Land trial allowed the prosecution to present testimony from an anonymous Israeli intelligence agent. This bizarre episode marked the first time in American legal history that testimony has been allowed from an expert witness with no identity. If the witness, who was introduced to the jury simply as "Avi," lied or committed perjury, he faces no consequences. He is officially non-existent, after all.
That one managed to escape the attention on the LA Times. The quote's from Alternet.

As is this:
Though the prosecution ostensibly limited their case to Palestinian charities operating in the present day, most of the evidence presented to the jury involved the general activities of Hamas, and dated back decades. With its propaganda-like quality, the evidence was clearly intended to provoke an emotional response. For example, jurors were repeatedly shown videos of grisly suicide bombings that none of the defendants were in any way connected to, or accused of planning.
The LA Times warns that the sentences will be "steep" and notes that the judge has incarcerated the defendants in case they abscond to escape the inevitable custodial sentences.

There is enough in the LA Times article to show that this has been a political show trial to terrorise anyone out of practical support for the Palestinian people, particularly those in Gaza. There was enough too in the BBC's offering. And alternet certainly filled a few gaps in the report. Why oh why are the liberals at the Guardian so relaxed about this latest zionist outrage?

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