…with the prosecution’s hands tied. From AP, :
NEW YORK (AP) — A judge earlier this week refused to let federal prosecutors present some of the most potentially damaging evidence against a Yemeni sheik charged with funneling millions of dollars to terrorists.
Prosecutors will not be able to present documents allegedly linking Sheik Mohammed Ali Hasan al-Moayad to suspected al Qaeda militants in Afghanistan and Croatia, Judge Sterling Johnson Jr. ruled….
If convicted, al-Moayad, 56, could face more than 60 years in prison. Zayed, 31, could face more than 30 years.
The government had hoped to prove al-Moayad’s ties to Osama bin Laden with address books containing al-Moayad’s name and phone number, which were confiscated from suspected al Qaeda fighters being expelled from the former Yugoslavia. The government also planned to introduce an admission form for an al Qaeda Afghan training camp that used al-Moayad as a reference.
The judge called the Croatian evidence “so remote, I am going to preclude the government from using it.”
He went on to exclude the Afghan evidence, apparently agreeing with a defense argument that the presence of al-Moayad’s name on the form was not sufficient proof of wrongdoing. “We don’t know who put this name in,” the judge said.
He also ruled a videotape showing al-Moayad with a high-ranking Hamas official on the day of an Israeli suicide bombing could not be introduced without the testimony of Mohamed Alanssi, an FBI informant who recorded it.