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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Looking for an end

As jury deliberations began their second week today, an attorney for one material witness was looking for an end. Abdullah Al-Kidd, a former University of Idaho football player, has been waiting to be called as a witness in the Sami Al-Hussayen case since March of 2003, when federal authorities stopped him from boarding a flight to Saudi Arabia.

Al-Kidd, formerly known as Lavoni T. Kidd before his conversion to Islam, has been under tight restrictions since then, requiring him to live with his wife and her family in Las Vegas, and restricting his travel to a four-state area including Nevada, California, Idaho and Washington – all so he could be available to testify at the trial. But the trial’s over now – and Al-Kidd never was called to testify.

His attorney, federal public defender Dick Rubin, has filed a motion to drop the restrictions on Al-Kidd, who was never charged with any crime. “I think they went too far, for too long a period of time,” he said.

Federal authorities initially thought Al-Kidd was leaving with a $5,000, one-way, first-class ticket to Saudi Arabia, but it turned out to be a $1,700, round-trip coach ticket with an open return date. Al-Kidd said he was traveling to the kingdom on a scholarship to study Islamic law for a year.

Rubin said, “Certainly the end of the case ought to bring about the end of the conditions.”

Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.