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Eye On Boise


Cheerful again

Jurors in the Al-Hussayen trial pushed past 4:45 this afternoon with their deliberations, going about 45 minutes longer than usual, and appeared mostly relaxed and cheerful as they left the courthouse today in several groups. That was a contrast to yesterday, when they reportedly were…

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MONDAY, JUNE 7, 2004

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…

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FRIDAY, JUNE 4, 2004

No verdict yet, it looks like

Here's the scene outside the federal courthouse this afternoon where the media and its live trucks gathered in anticipation of a verdict in the Sami Al-Hussayen case. But at 3:30 p.m. the judge announced he was calling the jury in at 4 p.m. to dismiss…

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They're rolling now

Jurors in the Sami Al-Hussayen case deliberated from 9 to 4:30 today, and didn’t stop to ask the court any questions. They’ve adjourned for the day now, but will start up again at 9 in the morning.

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Questions on false statements

In the Sami Al-Hussayen jury’s first day of deliberations yesterday, it ran into questions right away about its complex instructions. One of the questions was this: “Does false statement or fraudulent statement include omission by definition?”In answer, Judge Edward Lodge just referred the jurors back…

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Attorneys bow out, jurors take over

As the attorneys on both sides, Al-Hussayen supporters from Moscow, various witnesses and onlookers filtered out of the courthouse after the eight-week trial today, many seemed glad the long trial was finally over. Both David Nevin, lead defense attorney, and U.S. Attorney for Idaho Tom…

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Case goes to jury

Sami Al-Hussayen's case was handed over to the jury just now, after hours of closing arguments and rebuttal. In the final comment, lead prosecutor Kim Lindquist told the court it had been "proven without any doubt that he was involved in business, and what kind…

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'That's not the law'

Right at the culmination of the prosecution's closing arguments, prosecutor Kim Lindquist offered the jury some thoughts about the First Amendment. "The First Amendment is an issue in this case only as it relates to the knowledge or intent of the defendant and his associates,"…

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Reading material

When Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Lindquist waved a thick transcript of "The Intifada and the New Tartars," a hate-filled, anti-Jewish, anti-Israel and anti-America lecture that a prosecution witness had read in part to jurors earlier in the trial, jurors flinched."Just holding up the transcript makes…

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They're confident

On the eve of today's closing arguments, defense attorneys filed a motion to acquit Sami Al-Hussayen on all the charges. The motion states that based on the testimony of the sole defense witness, even if all the government's evidence is viewed in the most favorable…

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FRIDAY, MAY 28, 2004

Role of the First Amendment?

As jurors enjoyed a long weekend, attorneys on both sides in the Sami Al-Hussayen case were back in court Friday, arguing about the instructions that will be given to the jury. Prosecutors were particularly alarmed by proposed instructions from the judge laying out the protections…

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Defense rests

After just one witness and a single day of testimony, the defense in the Sami Al-Hussayen trial has just announced that it rests its case."I'm caught short," responded Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Lindquist. "I'm taken by surprise by this announcement."The court's in recess now, to…

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Personal relationship

Recruiting people to commit a terrorist act or to spy for another country takes a personal relationship with an appealing, persuasive recruiter, defense expert witness Frank Anderson told the court today. He testified that he personally recruited members of terrorist groups to spy for the…

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First volunteer expert

Frank Anderson, terrorism expert and former CIA agent in such locations as Lebanon, Yemen and Morocco, is the first of the expert witnesses in the Sami Al-Hussayen trial who isn't being highly paid. In fact, Anderson told the court today that he's volunteering his time…

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Testifying by video

Two of Sami Al-Hussayen's brothers will be allowed to testify in his trial by videoconference, Judge Edward Lodge ruled this morning. Prosecutors opposed allowing that, but defense attorney David Nevin argued, "Both these men have applied for visas to come to the United States and…

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TUESDAY, MAY 25, 2004

Not a good start

The defense's case got off to a rough start this morning, as an angry Judge Edward Lodge refused to allow the first witness to testify and blocked key defense exhibits - evidence that after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks Sami Al-Hussayen organized a blood…

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MONDAY, MAY 24, 2004

Changed his story

Terrorist recruit Khwaja Hasan changed his story somewhat when he testified in front of the jury this afternoon - this time, he said directly that viewing a web site about the Chechnyan conflict and watching the graphic video "Russian Hell 2000" more than a year…

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FRIDAY, MAY 21, 2004

Should they, or shouldn't they?

Attorneys on both sides offered impassioned arguments to the judge Friday morning on whether two young recruits to the al-Qaeda terrorist network should be allowed to testify against Sami Al-Hussayen, a University of Idaho graduate student who is accused of aiding terrorists, in part by…

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THURSDAY, MAY 20, 2004

Recruited by al Qaeda

Dressed in bright orange-yellow jail-issue scrubs, Yahya Goba gave short answers and took long pauses as he told the court about how he went to an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, at the urging of a friend and mentor from Lackawanna, N.Y., who's now…

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'They will want to go do this'

Rohan Gunaratna, the prosecution's second expert witness on terrorism, testified this morning that he agrees with earlier expert Reuven Paz that materials posted on web sites linked to Sami Al-Hussayen are the kind that drum up recruits and funds for terrorists."The material, when viewed by…

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Expert cross-examined

Here are some of the points brought out in defense attorney Chuck Peterson's cross-examination of Israeli terrorism expert Reuven Paz:* Paz has posted some of the same materials prosecutors have linked to Al-Hussayen on his own web site. He said he posts extremist materials for…

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Looking to roots

Israeli researcher and terrorism expert Reuven Paz reached back more than 1,000 years to explain the roots of modern-day Islamist terrorism, in his testimony today. From the Crusades to the Mongols, he detailed how major Islamic teachers offered new interpretations of religious teachings and views…

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TUESDAY, MAY 18, 2004

'For the fifth time...'

Cross-examination of FBI intelligence analyst John Pulcastro by lead defense attorney David Nevin ended dramatically this afternoon, as Nevin honed in on a statement at the bottom of several web pages Pulcastro had described - which appeared to show that the sites were still being…

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Most are admitted

So far today, about a dozen exhibits related indirectly to Sami Al-Hussayen have been admitted as evidence, two have been blocked, and a half-dozen have been put on hold. Most of the exhibits are web sites with information about fighting in Chechnya or treatises on…

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MONDAY, MAY 17, 2004

Case already proven?

In legal briefs filed today, prosecutors contend they've already proven that University of Idaho graduate student Sami Al-Hussayen was part of a conspiracy to aid terrorists - an argument bitterly disputed by the defense in its own brief.Prosecutors cited four fatwas offering religious justifications for…

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Eye On Boise

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