Lawyer seeks to bar terrorism reference at trial

AP News
|
Posted: Oct 21, 2014 3:20 PM
Lawyer seeks to bar terrorism reference at trial

DETROIT (AP) — Lawyers for a Palestinian activist from Chicago convicted for a fatal bombing in Israel urged a judge Tuesday to bar any reference to terrorism at her upcoming trial on immigration charges.

Rasmieh Odeh, associate director at the Arab American Action Network in Chicago, is charged with illegally getting U.S. citizenship in 2004 after failing to disclose her convictions for bombings in Israel 45 years ago.

Jurors likely would turn against Odeh if prosecutors and witnesses describe the acts as terrorism, defense attorney Michael Deutsch said.

U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain heard arguments on several disputes over evidence. Odeh's trial is set for Nov. 4. If convicted, she would lose U.S. citizenship and likely be deported.

Prosecutor Mark Jebson said the government doesn't plan to label Odeh a terrorist, but he added that the word "terrorism" is fair game because terrorism disqualifies people from getting citizenship.

Odeh, 65, was convicted by an Israeli military court of placing two bombs at a Jerusalem market in 1969. One went off and killed two people. She also was convicted of a bombing at the British Consulate.

Odeh answered "no" on immigration forms in Detroit when asked if she had ever been convicted of a crime or spent time in prison.

Deutsch said she believed it was a reference to her time in the U.S. He said Odeh's failure to disclose the information also was due to post-traumatic stress disorder related to torture by the Israeli military.

Deutsch said she confessed to the bombings due to torture.

___

Follow Ed White at http://twitter.com/edwhiteap