09:52 PM CDT on Sunday, September 28, 2008
By JASON TRAHAN / The Dallas Morning News
Prosecutors have begun walking jurors through what they consider some of the most provocative and damaging documents that the government has amassed against the five accused Holy Land Foundation charity organizers.
FBI Special Agent Lara Burns continues her testimony today on the web of connections she says the agency found between the former Richardson-based foundation – once the largest Muslim charity in the U.S. – and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian-based Islamist group that the government says is the parent organization of Hamas.
Last year, the government failed to secure any convictions against the defendants on charges that they funneled more than $12 million to Hamas after the U.S. declared it a terrorist group in 1995. Last year’s three-month trial ended in a hung jury after 19 days of deliberations on what was widely considered a mountain of disjointed evidence.
During the first week of the retrial, for which the government has pared the number of charges against the defendants, prosecutors appeared to be taking more time to surround the testimony with context, even asking Ms. Burns to spell difficult Arabic names for jurors, most of whom are taking notes.