US court rejects Israeli evidence

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

A US federal court judge on Tuesday deemed inadmissible evidence linking an American Muslim charity to the Hamas terrorist organization after being convinced by defense attorneys that Israel may have mishandled the documents.

On trial is the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which claims it existed only to provide humanitarian aid to desperate Palestinian families. The government shut the organization down in 2001 on suspicion it was funneling money to Hamas, and that the funds were then used to finance attacks against Israelis.

During a major anti-terror operation in 2002, Israeli forces confiscated documents that reportedly prove a clear link between Hamas terrorist activities and the Holy Land Foundation. But defense attorneys argued that some of the documents were still unsigned, and managed to convince Federal District Judge A. Joe Fish that there was no way of knowing if Israel had mishandled the evidence, reported The Associated Press.

Fish threw most of the evidence out, forbidding jurists to see it or attorneys to discuss the matter with the press.

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