Both Sides in Holy Land Case Try To Discredit Opponents Terrorism Expert Witnesses

Linda Moreno, defense lawyer for the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, rested their case by asking the federal jury to look beyond what she described as “fear-mongering and politically motivated charges against a Muslim charity.” Much of closing arguments was spent trying to discredit the other side’s expert witness testimony. Nathan F. Garrett, a federal prosecutor, told the court “I just don’t think they (the terrorism expert witnesses for the defense) know much about what matters in this case.” NewYorkTimes.Com also reports:

Stressing her client’s years of work helping impoverished Palestinian children, a defense lawyer on Wednesday asked a the government has accused of financing the terrorist group Hamas. Her client, Ghassan Elashi, the former chairman of the charity, the “did not support Hamas,” said the lawyer. “He supported his people,” who are living amid poverty and violence.

But the government, in its conclusion to this closely watched prosecution, said the foundation was, from its inception, linked to radical groups promoting jihad. Like Hamas, it was “born in the bosom of the Muslim Brotherhood,” said Nathan F. Garrett, a federal prosecutor, using a phrase he repeated several times during his almost three-hour summation.

The Holy Land foundation, which was based in a Dallas suburb, and five of its officials are charged with conspiracy, money-laundering and providing financial support to a foreign terrorism organization by sending more than $12 million to Palestinian charities.