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No ruling should be made on a bid to revoke the citizenship of a Palestinian-American acquitted of an aiding-terrorism charge - but convicted of obtaining his citizenship fraudulently - until appeals of his convictions are disposed of, his lawyers say.
In a federal court filing Friday, lawyers for Arwah Jaber argued that, at a minimum, nothing should be done until after Jaber's sentencing hearing, not expected until some time in September.
Jaber, who obtained a doctoral degree in chemistry from the university while he awaited trial, was acquitted June 20 of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization. He was arrested at the Northwest Regional Airport on June 14, 2005, as he prepared to leave on a trip to the Middle East, and prosecutors said he planned to join the Islamic Jihad, labeled by US authorities as a terrorist organization.
But the jury convicted Jaber of five lesser charges: obtaining his naturalization unlawfully, making false statements on passport and immigration applications, and two counts of making false statements on credit card applications.
The day after the verdicts, US District Judge Jimm Larry Hendren gave prosecutors and lawyers for Jaber 10 days to file written arguments on whether his citizenship should be revoked.
Both sides filed their arguments Friday. Jaber's lawyers said Hendren was moving too quickly.
They argued that, if they are successful at getting the charges thrown out on appeal, there will be no basis for revoking Jaber's citizenship.
At the least, they say, nothing should be done until after Jaber's sentencing hearing, since appeals cannot be filed until a judgment is formally entered after sentencing.
Beyond that, they argued that a conviction is not considered final until all appeals are exhausted, and a conviction has to be final for denaturalization to occur.
The government said Jaber's citizenship should be revoked either as a result of the jury verdict or at sentencing.
Jaber said at his trial that he did not cite his Palestinian name, Orwah Houshia, in immigration papers - though he applied for credit cards using that name - because he had used Arwah Jaber on all his immigration papers up until then.
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