Trial set for man charged with working for Iraq

AP News
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Posted: Dec 08, 2009 8:07 AM

A judge has set an Aug. 2 trial for a Detroit-area man charged with conspiring to act as an unregistered agent of Iraq and illegally obtaining 2 million barrels of oil.

Muthanna Al-Hanooti was indicted nearly two years ago. The U.S. Justice Department accuses him of illegally working with the former regime of Saddam Hussein from 1999 through 2003.

Al-Hanooti is well known in the Detroit area's Arab-American community. He was public relations director for a charity called Life for Relief and Development and helped organize a trip to Iraq for three congressmen in 2002.

A judge briefly closed a hearing Monday in federal court in Detroit to discuss national security issues with lawyers. Al-Hanooti says he's optimistic he'll beat the charges.