Acquittals, Hung Jury in Al-Arian Case:
I noted a long time ago that the Justice Department was developing a decidedly mixed record in its anti-terrorism prosecutions. As of today, there's another important case to add to the list:
In a major defeat for law enforcement officials, a jury in Florida failed to return guilty verdicts Tuesday on any of 51 criminal counts against a former Florida professor and three co-defendants accused of operating a North American front for Palestinian terrorists.DOJ has had some recent successes in anti-terrorism cases, but the al-Arian case was considered a very important prosecution. No word yet on whether al-Arian will be recharged on the 9 counts that didn't result in a verdict.
The former professor, Sami al-Arian, a fiery advocate for Palestinian causes who became a lightning rod for criticism nationwide over his vocal anti-Israeli stances, was found not guilty on eight criminal counts related to terrorist support, perjury and immigration violations.
The jury deadlocked on the remaining nine counts against him after deliberating for 13 days, and it did not return any guilty verdicts against the three other defendants in the case.