The US government case against the Holy Land Foundation for alleged terrorist funding has reached the Supreme Court. Considered as the Bush administration's flagship terror-financing case, its indictment of the HLF labeled the organization “a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.”
The case went to trial twice, once in 2007 when the jury could not agree to any verdict and then again in 2008, this time with sentences ranging from 15-65 years in prison for five HLF members.
However, key evidence used against the charity came from unidentified sources, which defendants and their supporters argue is a violation of their rights.
ANSWER Coalition spokesperson Brian Becker discussed the implications of these secret testimonies.
The FBI did not respond to interview requests but in a press release shortly after the sentencing called it “a landmark case” that “should serve as a strong warning to anyone who knowingly provides financial support to terrorists under the guise of humanitarian relief.
But the lawyer for Abdurrahman Oudah, who was sentenced to 15 years in this case, says the current ruling should not stand. According to attorney Greg Westfall, this case gives the government power to arrest and convict Americans on questionable evidence, setting a dangerous precedent.
The legal implications of accepting hidden witnesses would be serious.
The Fifth Circuit Court upheld the ruling and the Supreme Court would decide whether to hear the case sometime this term.