Friday, September 22, 2006

Feds Drop Charge in Hamas Terrorism Trial

A dropped charge indicates the government’s need to restrict evidence, allow hearsay, and coerced testimony to convict suspected terrorists. The case against Muhammad Salah shrunk with the dropping of a charge of providing material support to terrorists. The precipitating event turned out to be a defense attorney’s request.

Deutsch asked for information about how much the FBI had paid Mustafa and whether he had an arrest record. It was then that prosecutor Joseph M. Ferguson said quietly that the government wanted to drop the charge with prejudice, meaning it cannot be reinstated. Prosecutors also said they were withdrawing Mustafa as a witness.

Had this been a military tribunal, the evidence could have been restricted. Relying on hearsay from a paid criminal doesn’t sound like a solid case. In this situation justice prevailed. Mr. Salah remains on trial on other charges.

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