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Mistrial in Muslim Charity Trial

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) - A judge has declared a mistrial for most former leaders of a Muslim charity charged with financing Middle Eastern terrorists.

U.S. District Judge A. Joe Fish's decision came after jurors failed to reach a verdict.

The outcome came about an hour after a confusing scene in the courtroom, in which three former leaders of the group were initially found not guilty. But when jurors were polled, three said

The verdicts were read incorrectly.

In all, the Richardson-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and development and five of its former leaders were accused of providing aid to the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The U.S. government designated Hamas a terrorist group in 1995 and again in 1997, making financial transactions with the group illegal.

One defendant, former foundation chairman Mohammed El-Mezain, was acquitted of most charges.


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