Skip to comments.Brothers Charged With Sending Computers to Syria, Libya Overwhelmed by Export Rules, Lawyers Say
Posted on 06/10/2004 7:00:01 PM PDT by nuconvert
Brothers Charged With Sending Computers to Syria, Libya Overwhelmed by Export Rules, Lawyers Say
David Koenig/Associated Press
Jun 10, 2004
DALLAS (AP) - Attorneys for five Middle Eastern brothers accused of shipping computers to countries that help terrorists said Thursday their clients were small businessmen who were overwhelmed by complicated export regulations. Defense lawyers also suggested the men were singled out for criminal prosecution because they are Muslims. One asked for a mistrial when a federal prosecutor mentioned nationality and religion in his opening statement, but the judge denied the request.
Ghassan Elashi, Bayan Elashi, Basman Elashi, Hazim Elashi and Ihsan Elashyi are being tried on 25 felony counts, including money laundering and making illegal shipments of computers to Libya and Syria in the 1990s.
This fall the men are expected to be tried on separate charges that they used their computer business, InfoCom Corp., to help funnel money to a top leader of the militant group Hamas. The Hamas leader is married to a cousin of the men - she was also a defendant in the terrorism-funding case - and is believed to be living in Syria.
Authorities allege the men also helped run a Muslim charity that gave money to the wives and children of Palestinian suicide bombers. The government shut down the group in December 2001.
In the prosecution's opening statement Thursday, Justice Department attorney Barry Jonas told jurors that the men and their company violated laws designed to prevent products with possible military uses from being sent to countries that support terrorism.
Jonas said the men shipped computers to Malta and Italy, knowing they were headed to customers in Libya, and also made shipments to Syria without proper licenses. He said they also lied about the destinations and contents of the shipments on documents required by U.S. authorities.
Richard Anderson, attorney for Basman Elashi, said other U.S. companies shipped to both countries and that export regulations were too complex for a small business to understand.
Before the 2001 terror attacks, Anderson said, one of the required export documents at the heart of the government's case "was just another piece of paper to fill out."
Marlo Cadeddu, representing Ihsan Elashyi, said one of the brothers' Libyan customers lied by telling them he was from Malta.
The trial was scheduled to resume Monday. Lawyers estimated it would last two to three weeks.
And the problem is?????
You know, some day (soon I hope) there is going to be a landmark case where someone's sole defense will be that it is impossible to know all the millions of pages of law- simple as that, and therefore ALL the current laws taken in total are therefore unconstitutional since they are incomprehensible.
Just hang the RAGHEADS>
GOOGLE Search Term: "Elashi"
On The Net...
Hang 'em high -- hang their lawyers with them!
Get rid of two classes of scum that way!
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