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Three of Pak-origin in US to go on trial

Last Updated: Friday, August 26, 2011 - 11:18

New York: A Florida-based imam of Pakistani origin and his two sons are scheduled to go on trial in April next year after being charged with providing financial and material support to the Pakistani Taliban.

Judge Adalberto Jordan of the US District Court of the Southern District of Florida has set a trial date of April 23 for cleric Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, 76, and his sons Irfan Khan, 37 and 24-year-old Izhar Khan.

Hafiz and Izhar were imams at a mosque in Miami.

They were arrested in May this year along with three other individuals in Pakistan, and charged with conspiring to provide material support to a conspiracy to murder, maim and kidnap persons overseas, as well as conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organisation, specifically, the Pakistani Taliban.

Hafiz and his sons have pleaded not guilty to the terrorism charges that each carry a 15-year prison term.

Jordan said a trial in April will give defence lawyers as well as the accused men enough time to gain access to and review classified evidence in the case, including transcripts of phone calls and personal conversations.

The Khans and the three other persons at large in Pakistan
allegedly collected and transferred about USD 50,000 to the
Pakistani Taliban.

According to the indictment, the three provided money,
financial services and other forms of support to the Pakistani
Taliban between 2008 and 2010.

All the six charged sought to aid the Pakistani Taliban`s
fight against the Pakistani government and its perceived
allies, including the US, by supporting acts of murder,
kidnapping and maiming in Pakistan and elsewhere, in order to
displace the government of Pakistan and to establish strict
Islamic law or `Sharia`.

The funds were intended to purchase guns for the Pakistani
Taliban, to sustain militants and their families and promote
the Pakistani Taliban`s cause.

Defence attorneys have asked Jordan to order prosecutors
to provide more details about the case, including identity of
a confidential informant and names of people in the US and
Pakistan who may have also been involved in the terror
financing network.

PTI

First Published: Friday, August 26, 2011 - 11:18
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