Mistrial is declared for defendants in US Muslim charity trial

October 23, 2007 00:52

The biggest terror-financing trial in the US since September 11 ended in confusion Monday, with no one convicted and many acquittals thrown out after three jurors took the rare step of disputing the verdict. Prosecutors said they would probably retry leaders of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, as well as the organization itself, which the federal government shut down in December 2001. Defendants and their supporters considered the outcome a victory. Outside the courthouse, jubilant family members and supporters hoisted defendant and Holy Land chief executive Shukri Abu Baker on their shoulders and cried, "God is Great!" After two months of testimony and 19 days of deliberations, the jury reached verdicts for only one of the five defendants, finding former Holy Land chairman Mohammed El-Mezain not guilty of 31 of 32 counts and deadlocking on the remaining charge.

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