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    Appeals court sends case against charities accused of being complicit in murder of 17-year-old American teenager in 1996 West Bank shooting US court overturns
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 2, 2008
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      Appeals court sends case against charities accused of being complicit
      in murder of 17-year-old American teenager in 1996 West Bank shooting


      US court overturns $156 million award in
      terrorism suit against Islamic charities
      12.28.07
      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3487883,00.html


      A United States federal appeals court on Friday overturned a $156
      million award against US-based Muslim activists for their involvement
      in the terrorist death of an American teenager in the West Bank more
      than a decade ago.

      The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals said the judge in the case had
      failed to require the parents of 17-year-old David Boim to properly
      show a link between the boy's shooting death by Hamas - a group
      designated by the US as a terror organization - and the fundraising
      activities of the charities.

      Because of that error, it sent the case back for a possible new trial.

      The Boims' attorney, Nathan Lewin, said an appeal to the U.S. Supreme
      Court is possible.

      ''This court of appeals decision is wrong, very wrong,'' Lewin said.
      ''It amounts to encouragement of financial contributions to terrorist
      organizations.''

      Stanley and Joyce Boim had sued the Holy Land Foundation for Relief
      and Development; the American Muslim Society, also known as the
      Islamic Association for Palestine; the Quranic Literacy Institute, and
      Mohamed Salah, and an alleged Hamas fundraiser.

      Their son, a yeshiva student, was gunned down in 1996 while waiting
      with other students at a bus stop in Beit El, on the West Bank.

      A federal court jury in 2004 ruled in their favor and awarded them $52
      million in damages in one of the first jury awards against US-based
      institutions accused of supporting terrorism.

      In accordance with US anti-terrorism law, a federal magistrate
      subsequently tripled the amount of the damages levied against the
      defendants, who had all denied financing terrorism.

      The ruling in 2004 came in addition to a crackdown against a group of
      US-based Islamic charities and others who saw their assets frozen and,
      in some cases, faced federal charges for allegedly funding groups
      deemed by the US as terrorist organizations.

      The case against the Holy Land Foundation, the largest Muslim charity
      in the country when it was shut down in 2001, was the government's
      biggest terror-financing case since the Sept. 11 attacks. Authorities
      closed it down after accusing it of funneling more than $12 million to
      Hamas. Several people connected to the group were charged.

      But, in a blow to the government, the case ended in a mistrial after
      none of the group's leaders was convicted and many acquittals were
      tossed out in October after some jurors took the rare step of
      disputing the verdict.

      Salah was sentenced in July to 21 months in federal prison. He was
      convicted of obstruction of justice for lying under oath on a written
      questionnaire involving David Boim's death, stemming from the civil
      lawsuit filed by the teen's parents.

      The jury, however, acquitted Salah of taking part in a racketeering
      conspiracy aimed at bankrolling Hamas.

      ===

      $156M Terrorism Damage Award Thrown Out
      By JOHN O'CONNOR
      http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5ibE5DWkbXq5eM0iORLEMuOcTtdJwD8TQN6NO0


      SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A federal appeals court overturned a $156
      million award Friday against U.S.-based Muslim activists for their
      involvement in the terrorist death of an American teenager in the West
      Bank more than a decade ago.

      The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the judge in the case had
      failed to require the parents of 17-year-old David Boim to properly
      show a link between the boy's death and the fundraising activities of
      the charities.

      Because of that error, it sent the case back for a possible new trial.

      Nathan Lewin, an attorney for the parents, Stanley and Joyce Boim,
      said an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is possible.

      "This court of appeals decision is wrong, very wrong," Lewin said. "It
      amounts to encouragement of financial contributions to terrorist
      organizations."

      The Boims had sued the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and
      Development; the American Muslim Society, also known as the Islamic
      Association for Palestine; the Quranic Literacy Institute of suburban
      Oak Lawn; and an alleged Hamas fundraiser.

      Their son, a yeshiva student, was gunned down in 1996 while waiting
      with other students at a bus stop in Beit El, on the West Bank.

      All the defendants denied financing terrorism.

      Attorneys for the Quranic Literacy Institute and Holy Land did not
      immediately return calls seeking comment.

      In the 2004 trial, a federal court jury had set damages at $52
      million. A U.S. magistrate tripled the amount in accord with U.S.
      anti-terrorism law. It was the first in which jurors awarded damages
      from U.S.-based charities accused of bankrolling Hamas, Boim attorney
      Nathan Lewin said at the time.

      The couple, who had moved to Jerusalem in 1985, filed the suit under a
      federal law permitting American victims of terrorism overseas to seek
      damages against organizations that raise funds for terrorists in the U.S.

      The alleged Hamas fundraiser cited in the suit, Muhammad Salah, was
      convicted of obstruction of justice for lying under oath on a
      questionnaire stemming from the Boims' lawsuit. The jury, however,
      acquitted Salah of taking part in a racketeering conspiracy aimed at
      bankrolling Hamas. He was sentenced in July to 21 months in federal
      prison.


      ===

      CAIR WELCOMES OVERTURNING OF $156M JUDGMENT IN CHARITY CASE
      December 28, 2007


      (CHICAGO, IL, 12/28/07) The Chicago office of the Council on
      American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) today welcomed a decision by
      the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to overturn
      a controversial award judgment against American Muslim charities in an
      Illinois civil suit.

      In 2004, attorneys for 17-year-old David Boim, who was murdered at a
      Tel Aviv bus stop, sued local Muslim charities based on a complicated
      guilt-by-association argument. After today's ruling, the case will
      return to trial court for further action.

      The Judgment read, in part:

      "Belief, assumption, and speculation are no substitutes for evidence
      in a court of law…We must resist the temptation to gloss over error,
      admit spurious evidence, and assume facts not adequately proved simply
      to side with the face of innocence and against the face of terrorism.
      Our endeavor to adhere to the dictates of law that this great nation
      has embodied since its founding must persevere…"

      In a statement, CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab said:

      "Today, our nation's great tradition of respect for the rule of law
      has been upheld. This landmark ruling is a strong rejection of the
      recent disturbing trend of political lawsuits against American Muslims
      who have committed no crime other than providing humanitarian aid to
      Palestinians.

      "Pro-Israel groups are engaged in a broad-based attack against
      domestic humanitarian efforts to aid Palestinians living in dire
      circumstances under the Israeli occupation. It is reprehensible that
      groups like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) would fund and encourage
      lawsuits that seek to repress First Amendment-protected activities by
      Palestinian Americans under the guise of fighting terrorism.

      "The defendants in this case have endured a seven-year legal battle in
      which their reputations have been smeared and their assets
      confiscated. While the destruction of American Muslim groups who have
      committed no wrong-doing is irreparable, today's decision, in which
      the rules of law were finally applied, helps restore the American
      people's trust in the system.

      "CAIR deplores the murder of David Boim and hopes that the actual
      wrong-doers are brought to justice."

      CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 33 offices,
      chapters and affiliates nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to
      enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil
      liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote
      justice and mutual understanding."

      *********************************************************************

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