Closing Arguments Begin in Hamas Financing Retrial

DALLAS (AP) - Prosecutors say a Muslim charity funneled more
than $12 million to Palestinian schools and charities controlled by
the militant group Hamas.

Closing arguments were heard yesterday at the charity's second
trial for allegedly financing terrorism.

Last year's trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development ended with no convictions and a mistrial on most charges.

Prosecutors this time pared down what observers had criticized as a bloated and complicated case, but their final point was essentially the same as last year: that the charity was created to raise money for Hamas, which the U.S. government declared a terrorist group in 1995.

But an attorney for former Holy Land chief executive Shukri Abu Baker, said it was a philanthropic group that only sought to give aid to a war-torn region.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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