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Holy Land Foundation trial: Mixed verdicts, confusion; Update: Mistrial declared

By Michelle Malkin  •  October 22, 2007 12:09 PM

Update: LGF has the verdict doc. Debbie Schlussel says I told you so.

More on the chaos.

Update: Mistrial declared…

The Investigative Project on Terrorism reports:

DALLAS – Jurors in the terror-support trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) were ordered back to the jury room Monday morning after three panelists told a federal judge that they disagreed with the verdicts.

U.S. District Judge A. Joe Fish polled the jury after announcing that HLF itself, and fundraiser Mufid Abdulqader were acquitted on all counts of providing illegal support to Hamas. Meanwhile, New Jersey representative Abdulrahman Odeh and founding HLF chairman Mohammed El-Mezain were acquitted on most counts against them.

It isn’t clear what jurors determined about HLF president Shukri Abu Baker or director Ghassan Elashi. They did tell the court they were unable to reach unanimous decisions on all counts. The men were charged with funneling more than $12 million in charity collections from the Richardson, TX-based charity to committees in the West Bank and Gaza that prosecutors contend are controlled by Hamas.

The WFAA blog:

Jurors in the landmark Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing case acquitted some of the former Richardson charity organizers on charges they aided terrorists abroad, but appear to have deadlocked on other charges, according to the verdict unsealed Monday. One official — Mufid Abdulqader, a top Holy Land fundraiser and former Dallas public works supervisor — wasfound not guiltyon all counts. Two other officials — Mohammad El-Mezain, the Holy Land’s original chairman and endowments director, and Abdulrahman Odeh, the foundation’s New Jersey representative, were acquitted on most of the charges. U.S. District Judge Joe Fish said Monday ordered jurors back to the jury room to discuss whether further deliberations might allow them to reach a complete decision. If not, he is likely to declare a hung jury on many counts in the complex case. In all, the jury was asked to make 197 decisions on guilt or innocence. When polled, three jurors told the judge that they did not agree with all of the verdicts which were read, prompting the judge to send them back to the jury room. “Your verdict must be unanimous and it’s apparent to me from the answers of three members of the jury in respect to my question that the verdicts that I read earlier do not represent the unanimous view of the jury,” Judge Fish said. The acquittals are not final until the judge verifies them. Depending on what the jurors say after returning to the courtroom, the judge could declare it a hung jury or order them back for further deliberations. The five defendants have had an unexpected four-day wait to learn their fate after the verdict was sealed on Thursday because the judge was out of town. This delay came after 19 days of deliberations and a two-month trial.

Lawhawk takes a closer look.

Flashback: Homeland Security Implications of the Holy Land Foundation Trial

Flashback: Dennis Hormel predicted…Is the Holy Land Foundation Trial Heading Toward a Mistrial?

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