Al-Arian walk watch. From AP, with thanks to Teri:
A federal judge Monday denied a request by Sami Al-Arian to move his terrorist financing trial out of Florida, where defense attorneys say they fear jurors might have been tainted by publicity and politics.
U.S. District Judge James Moody said the pleadings by Al-Arian and co-defendant Hatim Naji Fariz did not convince him that jurors would be so prejudiced against the men and two other co-defendants that they could not get a fair trial.
Moody said in the ruling he had taken proper precautions to ensure the jury would be impartial and fair.
A jury of six men and six women and 10 alternate jurors was selected last week for the trial, expected to take six months. Testimony begins June 6.
“I am extremely disappointed,” said William Moffitt, Al-Arian’s defense attorney. “This is probably the first time that I will go into a case believing that my client is not presumed innocent.”