Judge: No New Trial for Seda

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Date: 
August 14, 2011

On Aug. 10, 2011, a federal judge in Oregon denied a new trial for the former leader of a now-defunct charity who was convicted on tax fraud charges relating to alleged funding of Chechen rebels in Russia. A defense attorney for Pete Seda, the former head of Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation of Oregon, said he will appeal U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan’s ruling. “We anticipate that many of the issues will be raised on appeal,” Seda’s attorney said.

In October 2010, Seda was convicted on money-laundering and tax-evasion charges. He was released in January after post-trial evidence revealed that the prosecution may have altered documents and the FBI paid $14,500 to a prosecution witness but failed to notify Seda’s attorneys before the trial.
 
Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation Oregon was shut down by the Department of Treasury in 2004 in a proceeding that has been held unconstitutional by the federal court in Oregon. The case is now on appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The charity is also known for winning the first judgment against the United States for an illegal wiretap of its communications with its attorneys. The government is appealing that ruling.