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Monday, October 06, 2014

The future is now: Detroit 'Palestinian' accused of jury tampering in trial of fellow 'Palestinian'

A Detroit 'Palestinian' is being accused of tampering with the jury hearing the case of another 'Palestinian' who is charged with violations of US naturalization law (Hat Tip: Mike P).
In a motion filed Friday in connection with the upcoming trial of Rasmea Odeh, prosecutors accuse activist Hatem Abudayyeh of the Chicago-based Arab American Action Network and other demonstrators of mounting protests aimed at swaying a yet-to-be named jury in Odeh's case. The motion asks that the names of jurors not be made public or revealed to the defendant or her lawyers and that the jury be assembled off-site to avoid encountering the protesters.
"Since the date of defendant’s arrest for naturalization fraud, Hatem Abudayyeh has orchestrated a concerted effort to influence the criminal proceedings against defendant, which has resulted, at each proceeding, in a large group outside the Courthouse protesting and parading, carrying signs demanding dismissal of charges and 'Justice for Rasmea' and displaying the Palestinian flag," prosecutors wrote in the new motion (posted here). "Abudayyeh has publicly stated that a goal of filling the courtroom, rallying outside the courthouse, and chanting while holding posters is to influence the opinions of jurors....As is evident from Mr. Abudayyeh’s own statements, it is his goal, and that of his supporters, to tamper with the prospective and seated jurors in order to sway the jury in defendant’s favor."
The motion, which makes clear that law enforcement has been keeping a very close eye on Odeh's supporters, also complains about them attempting to "flood Department of Justice telephone lines in an attempt to influence" the court proceedings.
Abudayyeh, who serves as executive director of the AAAN, did not respond to an e-mail and phone message seeking comment for this post. He visited the White House in 2010 for an invitation-only briefing for Arab-American leaders. In addition, President Barack Obama has some historical ties to the Chicago-based Arab-American group, having spoken at an event it sponsored in 2003.
...
It is highly unusual for prosecutors to name an individual in a court filing and suggest his or her involvement in a crime in the absence of formal charges against the person. The motion is also unusual for quoting an alleged statement by Abudayyeh, asserting that he said that he planned to be "contentious" in a conversation with deputy U.S. marshals, without submitting any proof of the remark. (Detroit federal courts seem more tolerant of such submissions.)
It's also not immediately clear from the government's filing why restricting information about the trial and the jury would be the first step in addressing the concern about jury tampering rather than acting against those alleged to be creating such a danger.
 Hmmm.

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