Jurors listened closely on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008 when prosecutors played the rest of a revealing, honest phone call between defendants Ghassan Elashi and Shukri Abu-Baker as the second testimony of FBI agent Lara Burns continued.
The jury seemed focused and awake on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2008 despite the prosecution’s daylong dry and dreary arguments. As the fifth week of the Holy Land Foundation retrial continued, government attorneys called back FBI agent Lara Burns as their next witness.
The courtroom camera was covered and the doors were locked on Monday, Oct. 20, 2008 as prosecutors prepared to put Mohamed Shorbagi’s testimony on hold to call their next witness: A secret agent with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF.) The 40 or so attendees—with an exception to close family members of the defendants, several FBI agents and one IRS agent—were asked to leave the room and listen to the testimony from an overflow room on the top floor. The agent, who went by the fake name of “Major Lior,” testified under the same pseudonym during last year’s trial, which ended in a mistrial exactly a year ago (October 22, 2007) after jurors failed to reach a single guilty verdict.
Shame seemed to have smeared off the face of former Holy Land Foundation volunteer Mohamed Shorbagi on Friday, Oct. 17, 2008 as he continued his testimony against the defendants. He seemed more confident, and his voice seemed more assertive, with fewer discussions about the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Solidarity was clearly alive with nearly 100 supporters packing the courtroom on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008 as defense attorneys continued cross-examining FBI agent Robert Miranda. The jury heard five testimonies throughout the long day, which ended at 7 p.m.