Patterico's Pontifications


Convictions in Holy Land Foundation Retrial

Filed under: Law,Terrorism — DRJ @ 1:49 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial in Dallas began in August 2007 and ended in a mistrial in late November 2007. We blogged about it in several posts summarized here. At the time, Investors Business Daily argued a new judge and streamlined prosecution could end in a conviction.

IBD was right. A Dallas jury today convicted the Muslim charity and five of its former leaders on 108 charges:

“Holy Land was accused of giving more than $12 million to support the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which the U.S. designated as a terrorist organization in 1995. The seven-week retrial ran about as long as the original, which ended in October 2007 when a judge declared a mistrial on most charges.

Holy Land wasn’t accused of violence. Rather, the government said the Richardson, Texas-based charity financed schools, hospitals and social welfare programs controlled by Hamas in areas ravaged by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The U.S. designated Hamas a terrorist organization in 1995 and again in 1997, making contributions to the group illegal.

Prosecutors labeled Holy Land’s benefactors — called zakat committees — as terrorist recruiting pools. The charities, the government argued, spread Hamas’ violent ideology and generated loyalty and support among Palestinians.

“A womb to the tomb” cycle, prosecutor Barry Jonas told jurors during closing arguments last week.”

The prosecutors had a difficult job with complicated facts that could easily bore or confuse a jury. The report indicates the prosecution tightened its narrative and gave the jury a road map to help them navigate the case. That seems to have made a difference.

I guess it also helps to have a good catch phrase in a complex case. “Womb to the tomb” may not be as good as “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit” but it’s close.

UPDATE: Thoughts on the importance of this conviction here.


13 Responses to “Convictions in Holy Land Foundation Retrial”

  1. Good.

    I don’t know if the convictions will really help prevent any Palestinians from being drawn in, but it can’t hurt to try.

    And it does reduce some fungibility of their funds.

    EW1(SG) (da07da)

  2. Once again, God Bless Texas.

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  3. test comment

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  4. Vindication

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  5. I’m pretty conservative, but it seems to me this conviction bodes ill for freedom of association, freedom of religion, all sorts of freedoms. If there is no direct link to violence, I am very uncomfortable with the conviction.

    Mitchell Young (a846c8)

  6. Mitchell – I do not see where prosecuting a group for funding terrorism infringes on their freedom of speech.

    JD (5f0e11)

  7. Its kind of like being a tax protester. If you don’t like the US government’s war policy, you should refuse to pay any money to it. Because money that you give them to spend on schools is money they are then free to spend on war.

    Or Hamas could just get into Reaganomics.

    imdw (7c85b9)

  8. imdw:

    It doesn’t matter how hypocritical or unjust US laws are: if you are in the US, you have to obey US laws. If you disagree with that law (and you’re a citizen), exercise your most important constitutional right and go vote. If you’re not a citizen, protest by going someplace else.

    Newtons Bit (cc15c7)

  9. They accused the government of politicizing the case as part of its war on terrorism, while attorneys for the foundation said Holy Land’s mission was philanthropy and providing much-needed aid to the Middle East.

    Lofty rhetoric–the sure sign of a weak defense.

    Hurray for us!

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

  10. Sometime in the 1980’s the Holy Land Foundation showed up at the Orange County Fairgrounds Swap Meet. The Swap Meet management thought that it was a non-denominational organization and gave them a prime booth across from the main snack bar. Everyone thought it was such a great idea to help children in the Holy Land. Many visualized baby Jesus and scenes from Sunday school lessons. I know I did.

    I was given a news assignment the day after 911 to research he Holy Land Foundation.

    Boy, did I feel ripped off after giving them MONEY that was sent to HAMAS.

    I found al kinds of information in case files here and in Texas. There was even a sexual harrassment case filed against one of the Elashi brothers here in Los Angeles. A college student hired to transcribe the Koran onto CDs filed the suit. She won.

    L.Hackett (86f333)

  11. The bottom line to this fund raising case has nothing to do with free speech and free association.
    It is the subterfuge of collecting money to help those in need and secretly using the money to kill people.

    That is a crime under any form of civilized government and certainly a crime in the United States.

    The perpetrators should be punished and their assets seized to pay for some of the horrific damage that they have done.

    Don Greer (8ee44b)

  12. The U.S. government spent 15 years and probably tens of millions of dollars to convict Holy Land Foundation of ” raising funds for ravaged Palestinian schools,hospitals and social services.” The only reason that Hamas is labeled a terrorist group is that they have a specificThe ,legitimate quarrel against one country-Israel.The Zionist owned U.S. government labels all of Israel’s enemies as terrorists-Iraq(before we invaded them to make Israel more secure),Iran,Syria, Hezbollah.
    I wonder if the Israel-firster Barry Jonas will spend as much time and effort investigating the charges that a group of Jewish officials at Lehman Bros.,including CEO Richard Fuld,transferred $400 billion of Lehman money to 3 banks in Israel just before Lehman Bros. went bankrupt.I am not holding my breath waiting for Jews to suffer the same harassment as Muslims by our government

    Ray Gordon (7be097)

  13. Ray Gordon, spare us the conspiracy nonsense about Joos, and spare us the Hamas sympathy. Frankly, its pretty nauseating. Holy Land Foundation funded an organization that has conducted terrorism and your sympathy for terrorists tells me more than I want to know about you.

    SPQR (26be8b)

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