Stateless Palestinian just wants to go home by Mitch E. Perry05/03/06
On Monday, former USF Professor Sami Al-Arian was given the maximum sentence in his Federal Terrorism trial â€“ 57 months. This came after Al-Arian pleaded guilty to one count of providing material support to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad last month, months after a Tampa jury found him innocent on 8 of the charges against him, while deadlocking on the other 9.
But while Al-Arian now knows his fate for the next year and a half. After that, he will be deported â€“ but to where, nobody knows?
Meanwhile, one of his co-defendants, who was found innocent on all of the charges against him Sammy Hammoudeh, still sits in a Manatee County jail, totally in limbo.
Twice, the government has said Hammoudeh would be released. His family waited in Jordan for a week on one of those occasions, only to find out the USGovernment had reneged on its promise.
Hammouded called WMNF earlier this morning, where he said that he wants to return to the city of Ramallah in the West Bank - and that the Government of Israel is okay with tha t(roll tape#1 o.q.â€?human dignityâ€?)
The court found Hammoudeh innocent of the charges against him in the federal terrorism trial of Al-Arian , but he still sits, and waits..he says he was pressured to testify against Al-Arian (roll tape#2 o.q.â€?activistâ€?)
And Hammoudeh says he has questioned heâ€™d like answeredâ€¦Not for him, but for the taxpayers who funded the Federal Terrorism trial of which he was a part.
He wonders if he was a Christian instead of a Muslim, An Israeli citizen and not a stateless Palestinian, would he still be stuck in jail.