“Replace judge who donated millions to defendant’s torturers,” say Rasmea Odeh’s lawyers and supporters, while prosecutors push for 10-year jail sentence.
DETROIT–(ENEWSPF)–July 30, 2014. Defense and prosecution attorneys will square off in Detroit federal court on Thursday, July 31, for what is expected to be a heated status hearing in the politically motivated deportation case against Chicago Palestinian-American community leader Rasmea Odeh. Supporters are gathering from across the Midwest to attend the hearing.
Defense attorneys have demanded the removal for bias of the judge in the case, who with his wife and family has donated millions of dollars to support Israel, which tortured and imprisoned Odeh before she emigrated to the United States. They argue that Judge Paul D. Borman, a life-long supporter of Israel, cannot play the “neutral and detached” role that the law requires. Prosecutors, on the other hand, are expected to fight to keep Borman on the case and move to quash any details around Odeh’s bogus conviction — including extensive evidence of her sexual and physical torture at the hands of the Israelis.
The Department of Homeland Security arrested Odeh on October 22, 2013, and charged her with Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, for allegedly failing to disclose that she had been imprisoned by the Israelis in Palestine over 45 years ago. The feds charge that she failed to mention, in her 2004 application for U.S. citizenship, that she was arrested in Palestine and tried in an Israeli military court that “convicts” 99.74% of Palestinians who come before it.
Her conviction by Israel came in the wake of vicious physical and sexual torture by the Israelis. Odeh recently rejected an unusual federal plea deal that would have seen her serve only six months of a possible 10-year sentence, and allowed her to remain in the U.S. for another six months before being deported. She has instead chosen to fight the U.S. charge. The full trial is set to begin on September 8.
“Clearly, one who has been a life-long supporter and promoter of Israel and has deep ties to the State of Israel spanning over 50 years, who no doubts believes that Israel is a great democracy and protector of human rights, cannot be ‘reasonably’ said to be impartial when these claims of torture and illegality are raised by a Palestinian defendant,” argue Odeh’s attorneys, Michael Deutsch and James Fennerty, in their brief.
Odeh’s supporters and her legal team are demanding that federal authorities drop the charges against her. They plan to fill the courtroom and gather outside to show their support for her on Thursday. More information on Odeh’s case can be found at uspcn.org and stopfbi.net.
The National Rasmea Defense Committee includes United States Palestinian Community Network, Committee to Stop FBI Repression (CSFR), Coalition to Protect People’s Rights (CPPR), 8th Day Center for Justice, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)-Chicago, American Muslims for Palestine, Anti-War Committee (AWC)-Chicago, AWC-Minneapolis, Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Committee Against Political Repression, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Chicago, CAIR-Michigan, Friends of Sabeel-North America, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, International League of Peoples’ Struggle-U.S., Jewish Voice for Peace, Lifta Society, National Lawyers Guild (NLG), National Students for Justice in Palestine, Palestine Solidarity Group-Chicago, Palestine Solidarity Legal Support, Palestinian Youth Movement-USA Branch, St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee, United National Antiwar Coalition, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, and Women Against Military Madness.