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COURT UPHOLDS SECRET EVIDENCE LAW

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    COURT UPHOLDS TERRORISM LAW SECRECY Josh Meyer, Los Angeles Times, 1/1/03 http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/la-na- terror1jan01001440.story WASHINGTON -
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 6, 2003
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      COURT UPHOLDS TERRORISM LAW SECRECY
      Josh Meyer, Los Angeles Times, 1/1/03
      http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/la-na-
      terror1jan01001440.story

      WASHINGTON - In a high-profile affirmation of the government's
      powerful new counter-terrorism laws, a federal appeals court ruled
      Tuesday that authorities can freeze the assets of a U.S.-based
      global Islamic charity that it believes is linked to terrorism
      without providing its evidence to defense lawyers.

      Justice Department officials and a lawyer for the charity described
      the ruling as a precedent-setting case that upholds some aspects of
      the USA Patriot Act and other counter-terrorism measures implemented
      after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the
      Pentagon.

      "This is a very significant victory for the administration, [and]
      not just with regard to organizations accused of having terrorist
      ties," said Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law expert at George
      Washington University Law School who has defended many cases
      involving issues of national security.

      Specifically, the three-judge panel of the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of
      Appeals, based in Chicago, sided with a lower court in finding that
      the government had the right to freeze the assets of the Global
      Relief Foundation in 2001 because of allegations that it was tied to
      terrorism -- and to do so without presenting its evidence in a
      public forum. "The statute is designed to give the president means
      to control assets that could be used by enemy aliens," the circuit
      court panel ruled...

      Roger Simmons, a lawyer for Global Relief, said the ruling was a
      continuation of unfair U.S. actions against the group that have
      effectively shut down one of the largest Islamic charities in the
      world since the Treasury Department first linked it to terrorism
      more than a year ago.

      Simmons vowed to bring the case before the entire 7th Circuit court
      to gain a reversal and force the government to release Global Relief
      accounts that have been frozen, and to allow other government and
      business entities to do business with Global Relief.

      "If I can't get a reversal there, I'm going to the Supreme Court,"
      Simmons said. "What's bad about this [ruling] is that the key issue
      in the case is the question of whether we supported terrorism and
      that the government can rely upon secret evidence to make its case.
      How do you go about proving your innocence when the government can
      rely on secret evidence that you can't even see?..."

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