Motivated by a desire to “promote terrorism.”
“11 years for refusing to testify to grand jury in Hamas funding case,” from The Associated Press (thanks to all who sent this in):
CHICAGO: A former professor accused of taking part in a Palestinian terrorist network was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison Wednesday for refusing to testify before a U.S. grand jury.
Abdelhaleem Ashqar, 49, a former associate professor of business at Washington’s Howard University, was taken into custody by federal marshals immediately after the sentencing, during which prosecutors warned that he might flee.
Ashqar was convicted earlier this year of criminal contempt and obstruction of justice for refusing to testify in 2003 before a grand jury investigating the Palestinian militant movement Hamas.
He and co-defendant Muhammad Salah were acquitted of taking part in a racketeering conspiracy aimed at bankrolling Hamas in its violent attacks on the government of Israel. But prosecutors presented telephone records showing that Ashqar was in contact with Hamas leaders.
The judge found that Ashqar’s refusal to testify was motivated by a desire to “promote terrorism.” That toughened the federal sentencing guidelines and guaranteed that he would get a stiff sentence.