TAMPA, Fla. – Attorneys for a former professor who stands accused of
financing terrorists have asked for another three-month delay in his trial
and said they probably will request that the proceedings be moved out of Tampa.
Sami Al-Arian’s defense attorneys have filed court documents saying they
need time to review hundreds of juror questionnaires ahead of his trial,
which already has been delayed from January until April by U.S. District
Judge James Moody.
The court motions ask Moody to postpone the trial until July to allow
lawyers to assess the potential jurors’ responses, some of which displayed
an attitude of “virulent racism” against the former University of South
Florida professor, defense attorneys wrote.
“One potential juror wanted to give sodium Pentothal to Dr. Al-Arian to
‘get the whole truth out,”‘ the defense motion states.
Other jurors commented “on the color and hygiene of ‘Arabs,”‘ the motion
Because of such responses, defense attorneys will probably ask for a change
of venue, the motion states.
Al-Arian’s attorneys have received 322 completed juror questionnaires,
totaling more than 7,500 pages, court documents showed. They will discuss
the questionnaires with Moody in court Thursday and Friday.
Al-Arian and three other men face racketeering charges that allege they
were the North American leaders of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which has
been linked to more than 100 deaths in Israel. They face life in prison if