US lawyer to testify in Hamas trial

March 15, 2006 09:42


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A human rights lawyer described an Israeli prison system that uses abusive interrogation techniques - including a cell so tiny it's called "the cupboard" - to illicit confessions from Palestinian detainees accused of taking part in terrorist activities. The lawyer, Jonathan George Kuttab, testified for the defense in a pretrial hearing connected to a terrorist money-laundering case. Defense attorneys are seeking to bar confessions defendant Muhammad Salah made after being arrested in Israel in 1993, but federal prosecutors want to use the statements as evidence against him. The hearing, which last week featured Israeli agents testifying under disguise and fake names in a closed courtroom, is to help US District Judge Amy St. Eve determine whether to allow the confession. Salah, 53, is charged with laundering money for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. He was born in Jerusalem and moved to the United States in 1970. He is a naturalized citizen who has long lived in a Chicago suburb.

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