NEW YORK (Nov. 25)
A 45-yearold wealthy long Island engineer who said he was born in Ramallah, Paul Ajlouny, and who describes himself as an adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization, was found guilty last Friday night by a federal jury of trying to smuggle stolen communications equipment to the Middle East in the spring of 1978. Ajlouny lives in Hempstead.
Federal prosecutors said the attempt, stopped on a Brooklyn pier, was part of a scheme to set up an independent telecommunications network for the PLO. Ajlouny faces up to 10 years in prison.
But the jury in Brooklyn’s District Court failed to reach a verdict on 136 other counts and a mistrial was declared on those counts. The counts claimed that Ajlouny had placed 136 telephone calls through illegal use of a “blue box,” a device by which long distance calls can be made without knowledge of the telephone company. The office of Edward Korman, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, charged many of those calls had been made to PLO headquarters in Beirut.
The equipment much of it owned by New York Telephone Company, bad been sent by Ajlouny from various places to the Brooklyn pier where it was found by customs inspectors in April, 1978. Judge Mark Constantino allowed Ajlouny to remain free pending sentence but ordered him to hand over his passport to the prosecutor. John Wing, his attorney, said he would appeal.