Friday, August 03, 2007

Go, Dore, Go!

As the Padilla trial winds down, we're happy to post another installment of Go, Dore, Go!

From all accounts, it was a good day for Kifah Wael Jayyousi in court yesterday. From the AP:

The testimony by Erol Bulur was aimed at bolstering claims by Padilla co-defendant Kifah Wael Jayyousi that his group, American Worldwide Relief, was focused on providing humanitarian aid to oppressed Muslims around the globe and not on assisting Islamic extremist warriors.
Bulur ran a warehouse in Paterson, New Jersey, that received and dispatched four large shipping containers containing about 25,000 pounds (11,340 kilograms) each of supplies to Chechen refugees in 1995 and 1996. Jurors were shown a video of the warehouse, including boxes of goods labeled "AWR" for Jayyousi's San Diego-based organization.
"These were shipments coming in from around the country?" asked Jayyousi attorney Marshall Dore Louis.
"Yes," the Turkish-born Bulur replied.

The testimony provided a counterpoint to prosecution witnesses and FBI wiretap intercepts that implicate Jayyousi and Adham Amin Hassoun, both 45, in a worldwide support network for Islamic jihadist groups, including al-Qaida. Hassoun allegedly recruited Padilla, 36, to become a mujahedeen fighter while both attended a mosque in Sunrise, Florida.

And the Miami Herald had an article, titled: "Witness for Padilla presents strong testimony":

With the end of the trial near, a defense team in the Jose Padilla terror case put on its strongest witness Thursday, when he testified that a suspected front for terrorists was actually a legitimate Islamic relief group.
Erol Bulur testified that he used his New Jersey warehouse to store tens of thousands of pounds of used clothes, canned foods and medicine donated by American Worldwide Relief, an organization run by a defendant in the Padilla trial.
Bulur said in Miami federal court that the relief group's efforts accounted for as much as two-thirds of all the supplies that he shipped from his warehouse through Turkey to Chechnya's embattled Muslims in 1995 and 1996.
''A lot more than two or three boxes were sent by American Worldwide Relief,'' said the Turkish-born Bulur [in response to direct questioning by Dore Louis], rebutting a prosecutor's attempt to downplay the group's significant humanitarian role in the Chechen conflict. Indeed, jurors were shown video of Bulur's warehouse and 40-foot cargo containers.
His testimony was powerful because it called into question a central theme in the U.S. government's case: that defendant Kifah Wael Jayyousi, a leader of American Worldwide Relief, used the group as a front to provide money, equipment and other supplies to Islamic terrorists overseas.

Next week, we get to the prosecution's rebuttal case. Here's the Sun-Sentinel discussing the Padilla strategy of not calling any witnesses.

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