HLF 2255 Motion to Vacate Update

DALLAS — Oct. 31, 2013 — Earlier this month, attorney Gary Udashen filed the Motion to Vacate the prison sentences of the Holy Land Foundation defendants (Case Number 3:04-CR-00240-P). The motion lists six grounds for vacating, with some additional grounds for defendants Mufid Abdulqader and Abdulrahman Odeh. The grounds are argued in detail in court documents now available below.

The third ground for vacating is “There is no evidence that Hamas controlled the Zakat Committees. Thus, the defendants are actually innocent.” The argument for this motion opens with “All defendants are innocent of all charges. This is a fact based both on the evidence presented at trial and the new evidence presented in this 2255 motion.”

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The filings detail issues such as the fact that the prosecution’s secret expert witnesses presented no actual evidence of any affiliation between the Zakat Committees and Hamas, and that these secret expert witnesses never actually visited the Zakat Committees – whereas defense witnesses testifying that no such affiliation existed did, in fact, have regular contact with the Zakat Committees.

New evidence was also discovered that the attorney believes should exonerate the HLF defendants of all charges.

The fourth ground for vacating is that the prosecution suppressed evidence that could have proved the HLF defendants innocence. Prosecutors are required by law to hand over “exculpatory evidence” to the defense. Failing to do so is a violation of the defendants’ due process.

The sixth ground argued that the HLF defendants “were prosecuted for one reason, and one reason only: that they are Muslim.”

Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) is a national civil liberties legal fund that defends the U.S. Bill of Rights by supporting legal cases involving civil liberty encroachments. Established in 2001, MLFA has defended freedom of speech, freedom of religion, right to a fair trial, due process of law and many of our nation’s civil liberties.