Prosecutors and lawyers for a Muslim charity accused of funding terrorists clashed Thursday over whether jurors should see documents that Israeli soldiers seized during raids of Palestinian organizations.
An Israeli agent testified about the documents during the trial of five leaders of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.
The agent was not identified, and before he testified the courtroom was cleared of spectators except the families of the defendants. Spectators were allowed in another room to listen to the proceedings.
Prosecutors believe the documents seized by Israeli soldiers will show that the Holy Land leaders knew they were sending millions of dollars to groups controlled by Hamas, which is illegal because the U.S. government calls Hamas a terrorist organization.
Defense attorneys tried to cast doubt on the authenticity and significance of the documents, which included pamphlets, brochures and posters that are presumably pro-Hamas. Jurors hadn’t seen the documents because at midday Thursday, the judge had not ruled on whether to allow them into the case.
Defense lawyers suggested that the evidence didn’t meet the standards for trial in a U.S. court.