“Discovery Notice” offers glimpse at evidence feds intend to use against Rasmea Odeh

According to a document filed yesterday by federal prosecutors in the US District Court for Eastern Michigan, the US intends to rely heavily on Israeli occupation authorities as a source of evidence for the prosecution of Palestinian-American activist Rasmea Odeh on charges of immigration fraud.

Documents include: oral statements by Israeli police sergeants, transcripts from an Israeli military court and an “Adult Evaluation Report” from the Israel Welfare Office. Also included are:

Israeli documents (with translation) relating to defendant’s arrest for prison escape while serving her sentence for the crimes mentioned in paragraph 2 above, computer printouts from Israeli computer databases (with translation) regarding defendant’s criminal record and identity, fingerprint impressions for defendant from Israel, and Israeli identity documents (with translation); fingerprint impressions for defendant from the United States government; [and a] picture of released Israeli soldier relating to defendant’s release from an Israeli prison pursuant to a prisoner exchange.
The government intends to introduce interviews that defendant has given that are posted on public websites, such as YouTube, to include the interview located at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xxrl8aj8aQ.
The government intends to introduce at trial testimony from one or more experts in the following areas of expertise: Expert on immigration law and procedure; expert on forensic documents (both Israel and United States); expert on Israeli conviction records; [and an] expert on the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), to include the history, structure and goals of the PFLP.

The need to introduce testimony from an “expert on Israeli conviction records” humors me, as does the extensive reliance on the Israeli court system for Palestinians. Israel’s military justice system for Palestinians is widely considered a sham by respected human rights NGOs. Even the recent president of IDF’s court system admitted that Palestinian defendants do not get fair trials. Palestinians in Israeli military court currently face an absurd 99.74% conviction rate. I doubt this system was any better in the late 1960s/early 1970s when Odeh was convicted.

The proposed use of a so-called “expert” on the PFLP also raises red flags. It brings back memories of the HFL trial’s utilization of Hamas “expert” Matthew Levitt, who “has a day job at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a conservative think tank founded by the former research director of AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby.”


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