Judge: Defense can't question charity case lawyers

AP News
Posted: Apr 22, 2011 3:06 PM
Judge: Defense can't question charity case lawyers

A federal judge says lawyers for an Islamic charity co-founder convicted on money-smuggling charges can't question prosecutors in the defense's request to seek a new trial.

Judge Michael Hogan said Friday that only two federal agents will take the stand in a hearing on the case June 7.

Pete Seda was convicted last year of helping to smuggle $150,000 to Saudi Arabia through the charity's Oregon office. Court documents show that after he was convicted, the FBI asked for approval of a $7,500 payment to a prosecution witness.

Defense lawyers wanted to ask prosecutors about their failure to disclose information about the proposed payment.

Hogan didn't explain his order, but he has ruled that Seda's lawyers also cannot see prosecution files.

He has called the prosecutors' failure inadvertent.