US court upholds doctor's terrorism conviction

February 5, 2011 00:55


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NEW YORK — The conviction of a doctor who prosecutors said assisted terrorists by offering to treat injured al-Qaida fighters was upheld Friday by a US federal appeals court, although one of three judges who decided the case said he believes one charge should have been tossed out.

The panel of the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, New York issued its 2-to-1 decision affirming Dr. Rafiq Sabir's conviction on a charge of conspiring to attempt to provide material support to a terrorist organization and its unanimous affirmation on a charge that he conspired to provide material support.

Sabir, 56, of Boca Raton, Florida, was sentenced in November 2007 to 25 years in prison after his conviction at a Manhattan trial. The government said he had agreed to treat injured al-Qaida members so they could return to Iraq to fight Americans, though Sabir insisted throughout that he was innocent.

The jury was shown evidence that the Columbia University-trained doctor swore an allegiance to al-Qaida in May 2005 and promised to treat wounded members of the group in Saudi Arabia.

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