Judge denies new trial for Islamic charity leader
Thursday, August 11, 2011
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- A federal judge in Eugene has denied a new trial for the leader of the U.S. branch of an Islamic charity who was convicted of smuggling $150,000 that prosecutors say was intended for Muslim fighters in Chechnya.
U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan filed the ruling late Wednesday in the case of Pete Seda (SAY-dah), also known as Pirouz (peer-OOZ) Sedaghaty (say-dah-GAH-tee), an Iranian-born tree surgeon who ran the now-defunct Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation in Ashland. The government declared the foundation a terrorist organization.
Seda was convicted last fall of tax fraud and money smuggling.
His attorneys filed motions for a new trial after it was revealed an FBI agent had failed to disclose payments to informants in the case.