Accused Hamas Funder’s Lawyers Request a Probe

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Lawyers for an Illinois man accused of funneling millions of dollars to a Palestinian Arab militant group, Hamas, are asking a federal judge in Chicago to hold a hearing examining the prosecution’s connections with the Israeli government.

In a motion filed yesterday, attorneys for Muhammad Salah asked to call witnesses and present other evidence to prove that the criminal case is the product of “the joint venture, cooperation, and partnership” between the American and Israeli governments. The defense lawyers said Israel should be compelled to turn over evidence favorable to Mr. Salah because the Israeli and American governments have acted in lockstep in the case.

Mr. Salah was deported to America in 1997 after spending nearly five years in jail in Israel on charges related to money he allegedly carried for Hamas. He is scheduled to go on trial in October on the new American charges.

A defense lawyer, Michael Deutsch, described a “longstanding and profound political military and law enforcement relationship” between Israel and America. One authority he cited is an academic paper published in March, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.” The hotly disputed treatise by a political science professor at the University of Chicago, John Mearsheimer, and the academic dean at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Stephen Walt, argues that pro-Israel elements have effective control over American strategy in the Middle East.

Mr. Deutsch also asked to present evidence about the role of the Anti-Defamation League as a “conduit and facilitator” between Israeli and American authorities.

A spokesman for prosecutors on the case, Randall Samborn, declined comment.


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