US judge: Second Al-Arian trial to start in April

February 15, 2006 22:07


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Sami Al-Arian's second terrorism trial - if there is one - will begin sometime in April, according to a federal court filing Wednesday. Federal prosecutors have not announced definitively whether they will retry the former professor on remaining charges of aiding Palestinian terrorists. But US District Judge James S. Moody Jr. announced that a second trial would begin sometime in April, with a specific date to be set later. At the end of a six-month trial last year, jurors failed to convict Al-Arian on any of the 17 counts stemming from accusations that he was a key figure in raising money and directing the activities of the Islamic Jihad, a US State Department-listed terrorist group responsible for hundreds of deaths in Israel and the Palestinian territories. In a stinging defeat for the government in what was seen as one of the most important terrorism prosecutions since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Al-Arian, 48, was acquitted of eight of the counts in the complex indictment. The jury deadlocked on nine other counts.

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