Monday, April 17, 2006

Sami al-Arian pleads guilty - but of what?

After a really embarassing trial, in which the government failed to nail him, Sami al-Arian has pled guilty to lesser charges to be deported, thus ending his incarceration

"My understanding was that he was to plead guilty" to conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization, said William Moffitt, who represented Al-Arian until a judge allowed him to withdraw from the case last month. The deal calls for Al-Arian to receive a sentence roughly equal to the time he has served behind bars since he was arrested in February 2003, Moffitt said.

The remaining charges are to be dismissed. Moffitt said he and attorney Linda Moreno wrote the bulk of the agreement. "The vast majority of that deal was written on my desk," he said.

Ahmed Bedier, Tampa spokesman for the Council on American Islamic Relations, said Moffitt was wrong about the Al-Arian plea. Al-Arian did not agree to admit to any charges associated with terrorism, Bedier said.

"He stayed true to his convictions - he stayed true he wasn't going to plead to those issues," Bedier said. "There is no conspiracy to support terrorism."

Interesting article, even if it is a little 'we said/they said.' It would appear that he's copped to something small so he can get out of jail now and go home, rather than go through trial after trial while the government tries to nail him on something - anything - rather than admit defeat and let him go. I might have copped to it, too, just to be done with it.

Over on Frontpage, David Horowitz wets himself demanding an apology from everyone who supported Al-Arian (I'm still awaiting an apology from Frontpage/DTN over the Schiavo affair, myself.) I'm not convinced they owe him, or anyone, an apology, unless they knew - or highly suspected - he was guilty of what he was charged of, and defended him anyway.

I also find it amusing that he was involved with Islamic Jihad before it was illegal. Sounds a little like Tom Delay's woes, to hear some say it.


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