This is a huge win for the Bush Administration in their war against terror. It’s been a long and very rocky road to these guilty verdicts. Last year, the judge declared a mistrial because the jurors were hopelessly deadlocked in almost all the counts. According to this Dallas News report, the prosecution succeeded in getting today’s guilty verdicts by streamlining their case:
A jury on Monday determined that the Holy Land Foundation and five men who worked with the Muslim charity were guilty of three dozen counts related to the illegal funneling of at least $12 million to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
The unanimous verdicts are a complete victory for the government, which streamlined its case after a mistrial last year, and worked hard to carefully educate jurors on the complex, massive evidence presented in the trial. Guilty verdicts were read on 108 separate charges.
The prosecution victory is also a major one for the lame duck administration of President George Bush, whose efforts at fighting terrorism financing in court have been troubled, even though the flow of funds seems to be effectively shut down.
“The jury has handed the government a huge victory and a loud and clear message has been sent – if any group funnels money to a terrorist organization, the government will hunt you down and turn off the money spigot,” said Robert Hirschhorn, a nationally known jury consultant based in Lewisville. His partner, Dallas attorney Lisa Blue, was hired by the government to help pick the jury.
It was the second trial where the government attempted to convict the men and the now defunct Richardson-based Holy Land Foundation itself. It took the jury eight days of deliberations to reach its decisions – less than half the time it took jurors to end up with an almost complete mistrial last year on the first go-around.
Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch notes that this is very a big disappointment for CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), which was an unindicted co-conspirator in this case. I would love to see the prosecution go after CAIR since they have successfully prosecuted the folks behind the Holy Land Foundation.