Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Terrorist on Trial: Get Rid of Jewish Judge


I guess all Jews are pro-Israel? I wish it were so!

I guess it isn't the actions of the terrorist that are going to lead to a conviction, it is that all Jews are in some sort of Cabal against those terrorists, right?

Again, I wish it were so!

Judge won't quit terror case
Defendant facing sentencing cites jurist's Jewish heritage
Paul Egan / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- A Lebanese-born man who pleaded guilty to providing support to the terrorist organization Hezbollah asked a federal judge on Monday to disqualify himself from passing sentence on him because the judge is Jewish and might have pro-Israel sympathies.

Fawzi Mustapha Assi, 48, who rose to address the court against the advice of his attorney, said he heard rumors U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen is a Zionist and he was concerned Rosen could not be impartial when sentencing him for supporting "one of the most hated enemies of the state of Israel."

Rosen denied the motion, telling Assi he is not a Zionist and he will be fair and impartial in passing sentence.

"This is a little late in the process to be bringing a motion to recuse the judge," said Rosen, who has handled Assi's case for 10 years.

"The court, if anything, has bent over backwards to assure that you have a fair process," Rosen told Assi, of Dearborn, noting he appointed a top defense attorney, James C. Thomas, to defend Assi at government expense.

The former Ford Motor Co. engineer was charged in 1998 after federal agents stopped him at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, where he was about to board a flight to Lebanon carrying global positioning equipment, night vision goggles and a thermal imaging camera.

The key issue is whether to apply a terrorism enhancement to Assi's sentence. If applied as the government requests, Assi could face 10 years. If not, Assi would likely be freed based on the time he has already served.

FBI Special Agent Joseph Testani testified Monday that Assi told him he knew the items were headed for Hezbollah and he supported the group's goal of getting Israel out of Lebanon. But Assi also said Hezbollah made mistakes if it attacked U.S. or civilian targets, Testani testified.

Rosen told Assi he would have recused himself long ago if he did not feel he could be impartial and he has never belonged to or supported any Zionist organizations. Rosen noted he threw out terrorism convictions against two Muslim men after a high-profile 2003 trial because he suspected the prosecutor of misconduct.

Assi was released on an electronic tether soon after his arrest and fled to Lebanon. He returned to the United States and surrendered in 2004 and has been in custody ever since.

The U.S. State Department designated Hezbollah a terrorist group in 1997.

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