I would have been surprised if there was no thuggery and skulduggery at the terrorist masquerading as a charity Holy Land trial in Texas. Check this out
EXCLUSIVE IPT INVESTIGATION UNCOVERS HLF JURY ROOM BULLYING IPT by Michael Fechter
IPT News Service
December 10, 2007
Multimedia for this item
DALLAS – She felt the men were guilty and tried to explain why to the 11 other jurors. When she finished, one juror spoke up in an angry tone.
"If you're going by the evidence in this room," she recalls him snapping, "then you need to go home."
The terrorism-support trial of five Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) officials, which began July 24, already had been stressful for 49-year-old Kristina Williams. She had lost her job two weeks into it. Now during deliberations, she felt bullied and intimidated virtually every time she voiced an opinion.
"When I'd get off the jury I'd come home every night and basically cry because I felt like every time I spoke I would get knocked down, criticized, one way or the other for something pertaining to the way I voted," Williams said in an exclusive interview.
While several jurors favored acquittals, just one out of the 12 did most of the knocking down. In fact, interviews with three HLF jurors - speaking publicly for the first time - suggest that juror William Neal's stridency may have changed the trial's outcome. Neal even claimed credit for steering jurors away from convictions in a recent radio interview. Until now, he has been the sole source for public perception of the deliberations and the government's case.
The three jurors interviewed by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) showed the Neal-created perception as skewed. All three jurors say they disagree with his views of the evidence and the prosecution's case. To them, it seems clear that Neal made up his mind going into the jury room and refused to consider any argument in favor of guilt. He preferred to read the court's instructions rather than look at exhibits in evidence, they said. And his often snide manner intimidated and bullied those who disagreed with him.
The effect this had on the case is clear. When a juror walked out in frustration after just four days of deliberations, it followed a confrontation with Neal. When another juror briefly refused to cast a vote, it was after a confrontation with Neal. Williams broke down several times during the 19 days jurors spent locked in debate. Each incident followed what she felt was an attack by Neal.
In an interview with the IPT Dec. 3, Neal said he had no regrets. He disputed only some parts of the other jurors' stories – he said he can't remember telling Williams to go home if she was relying on the evidence in the jury room -- but stopped short of saying it didn't happen.
"We had so many conversations they tend to blend together," he said.
The defendants were accused of illegally routing more than $12 million in support to the terrorist group Hamas through a series of charities, known as zakat committees. Prosecutors said those committees are controlled by Hamas. Defense attorneys argued HLF simply helped out Palestinians living in desperate poverty and provided support to widows and orphans regardless of whether they served Hamas.
Interestingly, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas effectively sided with prosecutors recently by claiming he was closing down 92 charities he said had been taken over by Hamas.
The HLF trial ran for six weeks. Then jurors deliberated 19 days. One defendant, Mohamed El-Mezain, was acquitted on all but one count against him – participating in a conspiracy to provide material support to Hamas. Jurors did not reach a unanimous verdict on that count and El-Mezain is facing a retrial for conspiracy.
There's a lot more go here.
Spencer said here,
Surprise, surprise: jurors who were inclined to vote to convict the Islamic charity of funding Hamas terror were intimidated into changing their votes. Watch for CAIR to issue a statement decrying this miscarriage of justice!
Seriously, this shows just how high the stakes are for the HLF and those implicated along with it -- and whoever arranged this juror bullying is well aware of those stakes.