Tampa Bay Coalition for Justice and Peace
June 27, 2008
Bush Justice Department Indicts Dr. Sami Al-Arian: The Injustice Continues
ALEXANDRIA – The Bush Administration’s persecution of Dr. Sami Al
Arian reached new heights on Thursday when prosecutors in the Eastern
District of Virginia brought charges against him, entering a new
phase in the politically-motivated campaign of the past five years.
The indictment charges Dr. Al-Arian with two counts of criminal
contempt, relating to two attempts by Virginia prosecutors to bring
him before a grand jury investigating other Muslim organizations.
Dr. Al-Arian had already been held in civil contempt for more than
one year for his refusal to testify. A plea agreement signed with
Florida prosecutors following his 2005 acquittal protected him from
cooperating in any additional cases. It was intended to bring his
case to a close by allowing him to leave the country. Two federal
courts have refused to allow evidentiary hearings that would allow
the plea agreement to be enforced.
Even with the additional time served, Dr. Al-Arian’s sentence ended
on April 7 of this year. He was then taken into the custody of
immigration authorities who were making preparations for his
In the midst of that process, the Bush Administration made its last
ditch effort to continue its punishment of Dr. Al-Arian by bringing
new charges against him. He now faces additional prison time if
convicted. Criminal contempt is the only charge in American law that
has no maximum penalty.
“This indictment proves that the government was never interested in
any information that Dr. Al-Arian has on the IIIT matter,” his
attorney, Professor Jonathan Turley, wrote on his blog. IIIT or the
International Institute of Islamic Thought is the Muslim think tank
that is the target of a six-year witch-hunt by a prosecutor based in
Virginia. “This was a classic perjury trap used repeatedly by the
government to punish those individuals who could not be convicted
before an American jury.”
He continues: “They have indicted him despite the fact that the
prosecutors admitted that he is a minor witness in the IIIT
investigation and he has already given two detailed statements under
oath to the government and offered to take a polygraph examination to
prove that he has given true information about his knowledge of IIIT.
Dr. Al-Arian has addressed every document cited by the government as
the reason for his being called before the grand jury. He has shown
that he has no incriminating information to offer against either IIIT
or its officers.”
Here’s the link to Turley’s entire statement:
These charges follow a string of abuses by a rogue prosecutor whose
actions appear to be politically motivated. Assistant US Attorney
Gordon Kromberg’s bigoted remarks against Arabs and Muslims have been
widely publicized in the media and condemned by leading human rights
organizations. His actions have resulted in the unjust prosecution of
many American Muslim activists, including at least one case of a
perjury trap similar to that faced by Dr. Al-Arian.
This indictment is only the latest in what has become the standard by
which the Bush Justice Department operates. After refusing to honor
the agreement it reached with Dr. Al-Arian in April 2006, it never
approached the grand jury process in good faith either. As Dr. Al
Arian’s attorney has revealed, prosecutors were not interested in
obtaining any information, but only used the grand jury subpoenas as
a means by which to bring new charges against him and keep him
imprisoned. These actions signal an erosion of the justice system,
much to the dismay of all Americans who trust their officials will
carry out the law on an impartial and depoliticized basis.
All concerned Americans are urged to continue their protest of the
abuses committed by the Bush Administration in their name. We ask
that you write to the Attorney General about the injustices suffered
by Dr. Al-Arian. We also ask that you contact your representatives in
Congress and members of the Judiciary Committee, requesting that they
investigate the actions of the rogue prosecutor.
Please check www.freesaminow.com for updates regarding the new
charges against Dr. Al-Arian.
Attorney General Michael Mukasey
Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Fax: (202) 307-6777
E-mails to the Department of Justice, including the Attorney General,
may be sent to AskDOJ@usdoj.gov.
US Department of Justice
Office of Professional Responsibility
950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20530
House Judiciary Chair
The Hon. John Conyers, Jr.
2426 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515
Fax: (202) 225-0072
Senate Judiciary Chair
Sen. Patrick Leahy
433 Russell Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224- 4242
For more information about Dr. Al-Arian’s case, please:
See the Washington Post article “Former Professor Indicted In Muslim
Charities Case” by Jerry Markon, Friday, June 27, 2008
We encourage you to write letters to the editor of the Washington
Post about Dr. Al-Arian’s case, expressing your outrage about the new
The e-mail address is email@example.com.
Do not send attachments; they will not be read.
To contribute to Dr. Al-Arian’s legal defense, please send checks to:
National Liberty Fund
P.O. Box 1211
24525 E. Welches Road
Welches, OR 97067