US prof cleared of aiding Jihad may have 2nd trial

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January 19, 2006 00:08
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A federal judge on Wednesday declined to dismiss remaining charges against Sami Al-Arian, making a second trial more likely for the former college professor on charges that he aided Palestinian terrorists. US District Judge James S. Moody Jr. denied without comment a defense motion seeking dismissal of nine counts on which the jury deadlocked after six months of trial last year. Jurors acquitted him on eight counts. The jury failed to return any guilty verdicts against Al-Arian and three other defendants, who were charged with raising money for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Two of the defendants were acquitted of all charges, while jurors deadlocked on some counts against Al-Arian and Hatem Naji Fariz. Federal prosecutors have not announced that they will definitely seek a second trial for Al-Arian and Fariz, but during a hearing earlier this month they told Moody they were leaning that way. Moody has scheduled three days of pretrial hearings for March.

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