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Final pre-trial conference to address key issues in case of Palestinian-American leader Rasmea Odeh

By staff |
October 27, 2014
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Supporters of Rasmea in Detroit.
Supporters of Rasmea in Detroit. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Detroit, MI - Just one week before trial begins, new rulings will determine whether the prosecution will be allowed to bring Israeli conviction and allegations of ‘terrorism’ at trial, and whether Odeh can present evidence of torture in her defense.

On Tuesday, Oct. 28, Judge Gershwin Drain will hold a closed chambers session to address a number of questions that will define the terms for the trial of Palestinian American activist Rasmea Odeh. Supporters will gather outside the courthouse beginning at 2:00 p.m. A prominent Palestinian American community leader from Chicago, Odeh’s trial for alleged immigration fraud begins on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

The Department of Homeland Security arrested Odeh on Oct. 22, 2013, and charged her with Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, for allegedly failing to disclose, in her 2004 application for U.S. citizenship, that she was arrested in Palestine in 1969 and tried in an Israeli military court that convicts 99.74% of Palestinians who come before it. Odeh’s conviction in 1969 was based on a confession that was forced in the wake of vicious physical and sexual torture by the Israelis. Defense attorneys contend that as a result of this torture, Ms. Odeh suffers from PTSD, which caused her to suppress the horrible recollection of the arrest when she filled out her naturalization application in 2004.

With just one week before the trial is set to begin, attorneys are awaiting rulings on several key motions that will determine the course of the trial, including whether Odeh can present evidence of torture and PTSD, which attorneys have said is key to her defense. Other important rulings are expected to determine whether prosecutors will be barred from raising the specter of ‘terrorism’ and evidence from the Israeli military tribunal responsible for Odeh’s conviction in 1969.

Supporters from across the country are mobilizing to fill the courtroom for every day of Rasmea Odeh’s trial and a team from the Rasmea Odeh Defense Committee is working full-time to mobilize supporters from the Detroit area. Jess Sundin described the outpouring of support, “The community is united behind Rasmea and against this unjust prosecution. From as far away as California, people are committing to be at the courthouse in Detroit, and demand that this trial deliver justice for Rasmea Odeh.”