The partial verdicts were just announced on MSNBC. There are no print stories so far. The latest print story says that the jury was still deadlocked on two of the four charges. But, just now, after 13 days of deliberations, the jury returned “Not Guilty” verdicts on 8 on 17 counts, and deadlocked on the other charges. Update [2005-12-6 16:22:57 by susanhu]: CNN says Sami Al_Ariari will remain in jail while the federal government decides what to do next.
Here’s the latest print story with background on the famous case:
Al-Arian judge asks jurors whether they can still deliberate
By MITCH STACY, Associated Press Writer
TAMPA, Fla. — The judge in the terrorism conspiracy trial of former University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian asked jurors Tuesday whether further deliberations were hopeless because they appeared deadlocked on some charges against two of the four defendants.
The seven-men, five-woman jury deliberated for a 13th day Tuesday as it tries to decide if Al-Arian, 47, a former computer engineering professor, and three others raised money and conspired to support the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Prosecutors allege Al-Arian and co-defendants Sameeh Hammoudeh, Ghassan Zayed Ballut and Hatem Naji Fariz used an academic think tank, a Palestinian charity and school founded by Al-Arian in Tampa as fundraising fronts for the terrorist group responsible for hundreds of killings in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The indictment includes charges of operating a criminal enterprise, conspiracy to murder and maim people outside the United States, money-laundering, and providing material support to a terrorist group.
The case was built on hundreds of pages of transcripts of wiretapped phone calls and faxes, records of money moving through accounts, documents seized from the defendants’ homes and offices, and their own words on video. At times, the participants appeared to speak glowingly of the Palestinian “martyrs” who carried out suicide attacks.
The defendants argued that although they were vocal advocates in the United States for the Palestinian cause, prosecutors haven’t proven that they planned or knew about any violent acts. They say money they raised and sent to the Palestinian territories was for legitimate charities.
Al-Arian was born in Kuwait to Palestinian refugee parents. Reared mostly in Egypt, he has been in the United States since 1975 and started teaching computer engineering at USF in 1986. He was fired after he was indicted in 2003. (Read all at the Herald-Tribune.)