Prosecutor Jim Jacks’ back was arched much of Monday, July 30, 2007 as he leaned on the wooden podium and continued direct examination of FBI agent Lara Burns. As he spoke with a monotone voice, some jurors began wiggling, while others forced their eyes to open.
Hamas author Matthew Levitt cleared his throat, took a small sip of water and continued his testimony on the morning of Thursday, July 26, 2007. During the cross examination, defendant Mohammad El-Mezain’s attorney Josh Dratel asked Levitt about the other terror finance cases where he was previously a witness. Levitt said he testified in about eight cases, including U.S.A v. Sami Al-Arian and U.S.A. v. Muhammad Salah and Abdelhaleem Ashqar.
His black hair was combed and his dark suit was pressed. Through his round glasses, he glanced at the government lawyers, then the jury. Matthew Levitt was ready for his testimony on Wednesday, July 25, 2007. It was no surprise that Levitt — the author of Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of the Jihad — was the United States government’s first witness in the Holy Land Foundation trial.
Every inch of all eight wooden benches were occupied Tuesday, July 24, 2007 when the long-awaited Holy Land Foundation trial began. Among the attendees were many supporters of the defendants, law students, journalists and other anxious individuals. A little past 9 a.m., U.S. District Judge A. Joe Fish started by reading brief instructions to the jury. The indictment is not evidence, so don’t treat it as such, he said. It will be up to you to decide which witnesses to believe and which not to believe Ö Do not read about the case in the newspapers, listen to it on the radio or watch it on television.