NEW YORK Lawyers for Mohammed Ali Hassan al-Moayad, a Yemini sheik charged with raising money for terrorism said American officials canceled visas this week for four men who were expected to become defense witnesses when testimony was set to begin.
Al-Moayad and his aide Mohammed Mohsen Yahya Zayed are accused of raising money for al Qaeda and Hamas at Brooklyn Mosques and other places. Opening statements in their trial at Brooklyn Federal Court are expected on Jan. 25.
During a hearing on Monday, Johnathan Marks, Zayed’s lawyer told Judge Sterling Johnson Jr. that he was told the visas for the men, who were from Yemen, had been canceled for national security reasons, The New York Times reported in Tuesday editions. William Goodman, a lawyer for al-Moayad, said he believed the visas were canceled the night before the trial was to begin….
Marks had written in prior filings that the Yemini witnesses could help bring a defense of entrapment by testifying Zayed had no inclination to support terrorism.
He wrote that one witness would testify that Zayed was opposed to the “hooligans who claim to represent Islam but in reality distort Islam.”
Now that’s interesting. I’d like to see him prove it. (Of course, if the judge is ignorant enough, it will be easy.)