Al-arian sentencing -Lance Robson05/01/06
Today in Tampa Florida sentencing was handed down to former University of South Florida professor Sami Al-arian, who was acquitted on 8 of 17 counts of providing material support to a Middle East Terror group last December.
Judge James Moody handed down the maximum sentence of 57 months to Al-Arian.
Al-arianÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s attorney Linda Moreno explained the sentencing of her client
Some analysts have called the trial a failure for the US Attorneys Office due to the amount of time & US tax dollars spent and the fact that Al-arian was not found guilty on any of the charges against him.
The plea deal reached last month will result in Al-arianÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s deportation, which his attorneys advised him the plea agreement that rewrote one of the 9 remaining charges was the best deal they could get under the circumstances.
According to Moreno the deal had to be free of any mention of alleged acts of violence for Al-arian to accept it.
What Sami Al-Arian did admit to was providing money and other services to people associated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
US Attorney Paul Perez what AL-arianÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s plea deal means to government prosecutors. CUT
Again, Al-arianÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s attorney Linda Moreno: CUT
Moreno said the decision to accept the plea was made by the whole Al-arian family; A decision that in the familyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mind will allow the case to come to an end without compromising their values. Al-arian now faces deportation from the US after serving the remainder of his sentence, an additional 19 months. He has already served 38 months in prison, under solitary condition deemed Ã¢â‚¬Ëœharshly punitiveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ by Amnesty International. BUT, the big shock today was that Judge James Moody decided to slow down the deportation process by sentencing Al-arian to more time in jail. Constitutional Lawyer Peter Erlinder CUT
Ahmed Bedier, spokesman for the Council on American Islamic Relations and producer of WMNFÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s TruthTalk show, criticized Judge MoodyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s characterization of Sami Al-arian as a Ã¢â‚¬Ëœmaster manipulatorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. Ahmed Bedier CUT
And Tampa resident Laila Sahlaab was personally offended Judge MoodyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s statements
Both the Defense and Prosecution has 10 days to appeal the sentencing handed down in Tampa today.
For WMNF News, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m Lance Robson