The lineaments of this case have become all too familiar: a charity that is not what it seems, charges of discrimination and profiling from the defense, etc. From AP, with thanks to Twostellas:
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Two pretrial rulings will limit the defense for a prominent Muslim doctor accused of setting up an illegal charity and violating U.S. sanctions by sending money to Iraq.
U.S. District Judge Norman Mordue ruled that attorneys for Dr. Rafil Dhafir cannot argue that he was selectively prosecuted because of his religion.
Government prosecutors also won a ruling that prevents Dhafir’s attorneys from delving into the government’s motive for originally investigating Dhafir.
Deveraux Cannick, Dhafir’s lead attorney, acknowledged the rulings were a setback but said he remained confident Dhafir would be vindicated….
Cannick has argued the government singled out Dhafir for a three-year investigation because he was an Iraq-born Muslim and when it failed to link him to any terrorists or terrorist groups, it charged him with fraud to save face. Furthermore, Cannick said other individuals and corporations that sent money to Iraq have faced only civil penalties, not criminal charges.
Dhafir’s trial is scheduled to start Monday. Five other defendants, including his wife, have pleaded guilty.
Dhafir, 56, of Manlius, is accused of conspiring to violate the U.S. embargo against Iraq. He also is charged with defrauding Medicare out of $274,000 through his former Rome oncology practice and evading $400,000 in federal income tax payments by writing off the illegal charity donations.