AL-ARIAN CASE HIT BY JUMP IN COSTS
Graham Brink, St. Petersburg Times, 5/30/03
TAMPA - The cost of the criminal case for former University of South
Florida professor Sami Al-Arian is rising quickly, according to
statements made at a court hearing Thursday.
The latest potential expense: $400,000 or more to convert thousands
of hours of audio surveillance tapes to a digital format to make them
easier to handle, a process that prosecutors say could take eight
That would be in addition to a few thousand dollars for copying
videotapes and buying scanning and computer equipment; about $50,000
a year proposed for a paralegal to help defense lawyers parse through
reams of documents; and tens of thousands more for Arabic speakers to
Those costs are on top of the investigative time logged by the FBI
and the prosecutors and the running tally of hours for the court-
appointed defense attorneys...
Al-Arian and Sammeeh Hammoudeh are being held without bail at the
Coleman Correctional Facility in Sumter County about 70 miles north
of Tampa. The two other defendants are out on bail.
At Thursday's hearing, Al-Arian and Hammoudeh watched from the prison
Via video-conferencing equipment as the judge and the lawyers
discussed a range of issues.
Al-Arian and his lawyers wanted to discuss the conditions at the
prison, which they have complained are hampering their ability to put
on a defense. Al-Arian has complained that he has limited access to