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Archive for Friday, October 28, 2005

Fired professor presents no defense at trial

October 28, 2005

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— An attorney defending a fired college professor against federal charges of aiding Palestinian terrorists rested his case Thursday without calling a single witness to refute nearly five months of prosecution testimony.

Defense attorney William Moffitt called the prosecution an "all-out assault on the First Amendment" and the right to free speech, and then rested his case for Sami Al-Arian.

Attorneys for three co-defendants began presenting their cases, which could take weeks more. Because the trial was continuing, neither side was immediately available for comment.

Al-Arian, 47, who was fired from the University of South Florida, and his co-defendants - Sameeh Hammoudeh, Ghassan Zayed Ballut and Hatem Naji Fariz - are accused of using Palestinian charities and educational entities as fundraising fronts for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad to support suicide bombings that killed hundreds.

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