Thursday, November 04, 2004


Dhafir Trial--Is Terrorism sneaking in? Tears, Devereaux Shines, 15 agents--no many more

Terrorism: One of the more contentious issues regarding the trial has been the Judge's pre-trial ruling that the defense could not question the government's motive for arresting Dr. Dhafir and the issue of terrorism. We thought that this ruling was preposterous and totally un-fair since the government has consistently smeared Dr. Dhafir as a terrorist in the court of public opinion.

Well, it appears that the justice may be prevailing. In a bench meeting at the end of court the defense claimed that the prosecution had raised the issue of terrorism.

The defense pointed out that in its questioning the prosecution on several occasions had raised the issue of terrorism. They noted that the prosecution had referred to the Muslim Brotherhood, a suspected terrorist organization. During the questioning of Smare the name of a sheik that helped move goods in Northern Iraq came up. The shiek is supposedly a terrorist. Other instances of the prosecution implying terrorism pertained to items that came up during a search of the trash. The defense was trying to prevent the prosecution from continuing its game of trying to have it both ways--imply Dr. Dhafir was a terrorist and not let the defense respond.

The Judge said that he would rule about whether the defense can question the government's motive for arresting Rafil and the terrorism issue on Monday. Let us pray that Justice will be served.

Tears. Prosecution witness Smari broke into tears on Wednesday when he talked about the suffering and hardship his family was facing in Iraq at the hands of Saddam and the sanctions.

Devereaux Shines. Defense lawyer, Devereaux Cannick, shined in his cross-examination of the prosecution's witness agent Kolbe (the cross examinatoin began Wednesday). Devereaux began by asking Kolbe if he knew what the word embellishment meant? He did not, so Devereaux explained. The cross examination of Kolbe continued on Thursday.

Through his questioning Devereaux got Kolbe to tell how limited, arguably negligent, the government was in telling, we the people, that it was against the law to break the sanctions against Iraq. The only government document telling the public that it was against the law to break the sanctions was a treasury document dated 1999. The sanctions were placed on Iraq in 1991. The local paper or other news sources did not print anything saying that breaking the sanctions was against the law. . In fact it was only a New York Times article in 1992 (or 1991) that pointed out it was against the law to break the sanctions.

Kolbe's testimony revealed how keen the government was to get Rafil and how harsh it treated people involved with HTN. We learned that the government took 60 odd boxes from Dr. Dhafir that included among other things a set of scholarly books in Arabic and other things that had no bearing on the case.

Only 15 agents, not 85 came to Rafil's home the day of his arrest--NOT. In the previous blog I talked about the government's half-truths and how Kolbe had said that only 15 agents came to Dr. Dhafir's home the day of this arrest. Rafil has consistently said 85 agents came to his home the day of his arrest. I said Devereaux would as he did, show that Koble's count was a half-truth. Kolbe stuck with the 15 but he did admit that other agents came to Rafil's home from other locations once their assignments were complete. I would bet that their other assignments was the interrogation of up to the 150 Muslim families that had donated to Dr. Dhafir's charity . Kolbe also admitted that a least one DEA agent came there. Kolbe said that the DEA agent came because he had a special tool to find things. Kolbe admitted no drugs or other contraband was found. Again Devereaux revealed one of many government half-truths.

We again heard how harshly Mrs. Dhafir was treated. Devereaux got Kolbe to admit she was not under arrest and could leave her home if she wanted. Although Kolbe said no agent ever told her she could leave. As we learned previously she was held at gunpoint when the agents first came. We also learned that agents followed her around in her own home even though she was not under arrest. They even followed her into the bathroom as she changed out of her sleeping clothes. Kolbe said she was 'contained'

We learned about the surveillance of HTN and Dr. Dhafir and how the government drilled holes in the HTN office to plant bugs. We heard of an agent that posed as a janitor at a HTN banquet. We heard about donors that were monitored by the government. We learned a lot, lot more about what could be called Big Brother tactics.

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