Most counts of contempt in Minn. terror case nixed

AP News
Posted: Jun 04, 2012 1:54 PM
Most counts of contempt in Minn. terror case nixed

A federal appeals court has thrown out 19 of 20 contempt-of-court citations against a Minnesota woman convicted of funneling money to terrorists in Somalia.

The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday affirmed the first contempt charge against Amina Farah Ali, a Muslim, who refused to stand for the judge and jury early on in her trial last October, saying it is prohibited by her religion. The three-judge panel vacated all other contempt counts against Ali and sent the case back to Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis.

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The appeals court says the judge ruled only on First Amendment grounds, and failed to consider a separate federal law protecting religious freedom.

Ali and a co-defendant, who say they only sent money for the poor, await sentencing on terrorism-related charges.