US judge grants closed court for Hamas hearing

February 1, 2006 20:31

A federal judge has granted a government request for a closed hearing in the case of a man accused of laundering money for Hamas. US District Judge Amy St. Eve's ruling Tuesday rejected separate requests by the Chicago Tribune and a coalition of civil rights, Arab-American and other groups not to exclude the public and news media from the March hearing. St. Eve ruled that expected testimony from Israeli security agents in the racketeering case of Muhammad Hamid Khalil Salah presents special concerns. Salah, 51, of the Chicago suburb of Bridgeview is charged in a racketeering indictment with laundering money that Hamas used to finance terrorism in Israel. Salah served nearly five years in an Israeli prison after he was arrested there in 1993 and confessed to transporting money for Hamas. He now says he was tortured into confessing.

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