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Upcoming Holy Land Foundation Appeal for Justice

By       Message Stephen Lendman     Permalink
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opednews.com Headlined to None 7/17/11

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In part, it states:

"If the Confrontation Clause means anything, it is that a criminal defendant must be allowed to know his accusers (to) have a fair opportunity to cross-examine them. Yet an expert witness whose testimony was critical to proving the government's case was allowed to testify anonymously...."

The witness called "Avi" had no relevance to the case. An alleged Hamas/Palestinian Islamic charities (zakat committees) expert, he belonged to Israel intelligence or security.

"The total secrecy of Avi's identity is unprecedented: no reported cases have ever approved fully anonymous expert testimony like" his. As a result, the right of defense attorneys to cross-examine Avi was "completely impaired."

However, Judge Solis wrongfully claimed revealing his identity, and another anonymous witness called "Major Lior," would harm national security. Moreover, with no evidentiary hearing, prosecutors said doing so would place them in harm's way.

If that ruling stands, it not only would "mark a significant departure from existing case law, but also would stand apart from a deep historical record condemning the use of secret witnesses in criminal prosecutions."

As a result, justice demands overturning HLF defendants' convictions because:

-- Sixth Amendment protections require revealing the true identify of expert witnesses to defense attorneys; and

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-- Confrontation Clause rights forbid secret witness testimonies, "no matter the circumstances."

Based on Fifth Amendment due process violations and material support issues, Georgetown University Law Professor David Cole and attorney J Craig Jett of Burleson, Pate & Gibson submitted another amicus brief.

Access it through the following link:

click here

Twenty organizations joined them including:

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American Friends Service Committee

Atlantic Philanthropies

The Carter Center

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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