Somalian's contempt charges reinstated

2012-09-19 10:16

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Minneapolis - A federal judge in Minnesota reinstated contempt charges Tuesday for a Somali woman who cited religious beliefs when she refused to stand for the court during the first two days of her high-profile terrorism trial last year.

Amina Farah Ali was convicted last fall of funnelling money to terror group al-Shabaab in Somalia, though she claimed she was raising money for charity. She is in a halfway house awaiting sentencing on 13 terror-related counts, including conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organisation.

During the first two days of her trial, she refused to stand 20 times when those in the courtroom were ordered to rise. Chief US District Judge Michael Davis found her in contempt each time and sentenced her to a total of 100 days.

But the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated 19 of Ali's contempt charges in June and sent the issue back to Davis to reconsider, saying he must determine whether his order to stand was the least restrictive way to keep order in the courtroom. The appeals court said Davis had to balance the need for order while avoiding placing "substantial burdens on sincere religious practices."

On Tuesday, Davis ruled that Ali was in contempt. He reinstated all the charges against her, but purged her 100-day sentence.

Davis said that because of the heightened publicity in the case — the courtroom was filled with spectators during most of the trial — the court took extra measures to ensure order.

Extra security officers were on hand throughout the trial, cellphones were ordered to be turned off, signs about courtroom rules were posted in the hall in English and Somali, and one room outside the courtroom was set aside for Muslims who wanted to pray.

Difficult position

He also said he reached out to elders and leaders of the Somali community and told them he would be insisting on order in his court. He said he believed those elders intervened when a group of men in the gallery chose not to stand at one point, and the issue was resolved.

Davis added that he spent a lot of time talking about Ali's religious beliefs, and pulled her aside so she and the attorneys could talk to him out of the public's earshot. He said when Ali changed her mind and chose to stand on the third day of her trial, it showed her beliefs could change.

Her attorney had argued that under Ali's interpretation of Islam, she felt she "should not rise for persons when she does not rise for the prophet". But she began standing after she was visited in jail by clerics who told her she could stand if she were in a difficult position.

Ali and her co-defendant, Hawo Hassan, were among 20 people charged in Minnesota's long-running federal investigations into recruiting and financing for al-Shabaab, which the US considers a terrorist group with ties to al-Qaeda.

Prosecutors said the two women went door-to-door in the name of charity and held religious teleconferences to solicit donations, which they then routed to the fighters. Defence attorneys painted the women as humanitarians giving money to orphans and poor people, as well as to a group they felt was working to push foreign troops out of Somalia.



- AP

Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  al-qaeda  |  somalia  |  us  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Saturday Cape Town - 07:38 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
  • Saturday Constantia - 07:19 AM
    Road name: Rhodes Drive Both Ways
    ROAD CLOSED between Constantia Nek and Canterbury Road until 1300
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9380

The first BlackBerry Curve smartphone with a touch screen Stay connected...

From R1799.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.