Judge Rules Al-Arian Must Testify in Virginia Terrorism Case

Al-Arian
TAMPA -

The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge James Moody was unveiled yesterday. Moody agreed with federal prosecutors who claimed a plea agreement reached earlier this year convicting Al-Arian of one charge of aiding a terrorist group did NOT protect him from having to testify in the Virginia case.

Al-Arian's attorneys claimed plea agreement gave him immunity from having to testify. One of his attorneys is Peter Erlinder, a professor at William Mitchell College of Law in Minnesota.

ERLINDER: A grand jury subpoena - together with a grant of immunity - would usually result in a person having to testify and answer questions before the grand jury, or risk being held in contempt of court, and then being held in jail for the length of the grand jury session, which is a maximum of 18 months. And then, that could happen again in front of another grand jury, which has a life of 18 months.

Erlinder says Al-Arian has already been transferred to a county jail in rural Virginia.

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