An Arab-American man accused of funneling money to Hamas was sentenced to 11 years in U.S. federal prison.
Abdelhaleem Ashqar, a former associate professor of business at Howard University in Washington, was jailed and fined $5000 for refusing to testify before a United States federal grand jury.
He was convicted earlier this year of criminal contempt and obstruction of justice for refusing to testify before a U.S. grand jury investigating Hamas in 2003. He was acquitted of being part of a racketeering conspiracy to help fund the terrorist organization.
Ashqar delivered a two-hour statement before his sentencing, describing Palestinian life in Gaza and the West Bank. He said he would rather go to prison than reveal Hamas’ secrets.
The judge ordered Ashqar taken into custody immediately following sentencing, calling him a flight risk.
Muhammad Salah was also sentenced to 22 months for lying under oath in a legal document in the same case.