THE LAST DEFENDANT IN THE AL-ARIAN CASE IS SENTENCED

07/25/06

THE LAST DEFENDANT IN A HIGHLY PUBLICIZED TERRORISM-RELATED TRIAL IN TAMPA WAS SENTENCED TODAY IN FEDERAL COURT. HATEM FARIZ WAS A CO-DEFENDANT WITH FORMER USF PROFESSOR DR. SAMI AL-ARIAN AND TWO OTHERS. LAST DECEMBER A FEDERAL JURY IN TAMPA ACQUITTED DR. AL-ARIAN AND HIS CO-DEFENDANTS OF 61 COUNTS AND DEADLOCKED ON THE REST. TWO OF THE CO-DEFENDANTS WERE FOUND NOT GUILTY ON ALL CHARGES. OF ALL THE DEFENDANTS- HATEM FARIZ WAS FACING THE MOST CHARGES.- 33. THE JURY ACQUITTED HIM ON 25 OF THOSE CHARGES AND DEADLOCKED ON 8 OTHERS. TODAY HE PLEADED GUILTY TO A SINGLE CHARGE OF PROVIDING MATERIAL AID TO A TERRORIST GROUP AND SENTENCED TO 37 MONTHS IN PRISON. WE'RE JOINED BY FARIZ'S ATTORNEY KEVIN BECK (WHO UNTIL RECENTLY WAS A FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER. HE'S NOW JOINED A PRIVATE FIRM.) AND WE'RE ALSO JOINED BY AHMED BEDIER, CO-HOST OF WMNF'S TRUE TALK PROGRAM AND THE DIRECTOR OF THE TAMPA CHAPTER OF THE COUNCIL ON AMERICAN ISLAMIC RELATIONS.

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