Judge sets date for Holy Land retrial

Nearly four months after a mistrial was declared in the Holy Land Foundation case, U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis — the new judge presiding over the case — set the retrial date for Aug. 18, 2008.

That’s right. The government is retrying the case.

The same five defendants — Ghassan Elashi, Shukri Abu-Baker, Mohammad El-Mezain, Abdulrahman Odeh and Mufid Abdulqader — will be defendants in the upcomming trial.

On Oct. 22, 2007, a 12-member jury failed to return a single guilty verdict out of 197 counts after sitting on a six week trial and deliberating for 19 days.

Juror William Neal told the Los Angeles Times after the trial that the prosecution was “a waste of time.”

He then added, “There was no evidence. There were so many gaps,” according to National Public Radio.

Let’s hope the newly-selected jurors will reach Mr. Neal’s conclusion. And let’s pray that this time the verdicts will be not guilty across the board.

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