Holy Land principals face retrial


Prosecutors will probably retry the ex-leaders of a major Muslim charity whose trial ended with a hung jury.

The five men who led the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development were accused of funneling millions of dollars to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

Former chairman Mohammed El-Mezain was acquitted on all but one charge on Monday, support of terrorism. He probably will be retried on that charge, The Associated Press said, as will the others charged in the case.

Also charged are former fund-raiser Mufid Abdulqader; New Jersey representative Abdulrahman Odeh; and Shukri Abu Baker and Ghassan Elashi, leaders of the charity.

The United States designated Hamas a terrorist group in 1995 and 1997, making it illegal to have financial dealings with the organization.

Lawyers for the foundation said it was a legitimate charity that provided money for medical, social service and educational assistance to Palestinian families.

A lawyer for the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency, testified for the prosecution under a false name.

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