Israeli interrogation tactics raised in Salah trial
CHICAGO - The interrogation tactics of Israeli security forces were put on trial in a US courtroom Friday as part of the prosecution of an American citizen accused of funneling million of dollars to the radical Palestinian group Hamas.
Lawyers for Muhammed Salah argued that any statements made to Israeli security forces must be suppressed because
they claim they were obtained through torture and are therefore inadmissible in a US court. What happened to him was shocking to the conscience, defense attorney Michael Deutsch told the court as he described beatings, sexual assault, sleep deprivation and other psychological and physical strains imposed upon his client.
Prosecutors repeatedly called Salah a liar and said they would call several members of the Israeli security forces as witnesses to prove that Salah was not tortured. Judge, there is no purpose, no benefit to these witnesses voluntarily coming to subject themselves and their governments personal and national security interests to aggressive probing about an Americans claim of torture if they did the things that Muhammed Salah says, said assistant US attorney Joe Ferguson.
|Doesn't offer any evidence for it, naturally.|
Salah spent nearly five years in an Israeli prison in the mid-1990s after admitting he committed a number of crimes on behalf of Hamas. He was charged by US prosecutors in August 2004 with operating a 15-year racketeering conspiracy in which he provided material support to terrorists along with Abdelhaleem Ashqar of Virginia and Hamas leader Mousa Marzook, who is considered a fugitive living in Syria.
Salah was arrested at a military checkpoint in January 1993 and has accused Israeli soldiers of beating him, blindfolding him and driving him around for hours before taking him to an interrogation center in Ramallah.
Posted by: Steve White 2006-03-04