Hamas funder's torture claims disputed

US Federal prosecutors say a Palestinian man accused of laundering millions of dollars for terrorist activities lied when he claimed Israeli police tortured him to coerce a confession. Attorneys for Muhammad Salah filed motions last month asking that prosecutors be barred from using the 1993 confession, which Salah claims followed threats and physical abuse. Assistant US Attorney Joseph Ferguson filed a response Monday, saying Salah didn't complain about torture when given the chance at the time and that people who visited Salah didn't notice signs of abuse. Salah, a naturalized US citizen who lived as a child in a Palestinian refugee camp, is charged with taking part in a 15-year racketeering conspiracy to provide money and weapons to Hamas. He and others are accused of using bank accounts in several states to launder money used for murders, kidnappings, assaults and passport fraud. Salah has said he has no connection with Hamas. Israeli police arrested Salah in January 1993, alleging he was in the country to funnel money to Hamas leaders in the West Bank. Salah says he was in the Middle East to provide humanitarian relief for Palestinians. Salah eventually pleaded guilty to Israeli charges similar to those he faces in the United States and spent more than four years in prison.
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