Detroit, MI - The jury in the case of Rasmea Odeh returned a guilty verdict after less than two hours of deliberation this morning, Nov. 10. They accepted the charge against her for “unlawful procurement of citizenship.” In her application for citizenship a decade ago, she failed to disclose that she was a political prisoner in Israel 45 years ago, convicted after soldiers raped and tortured her into a confession.
The jury was unanimous in their decision, and then declined an offer for a final meeting with the defense attorneys for Odeh, choosing to only meet with the prosecution. During the jury selection process, the members of the jury all revealed that they didn’t know any immigrants.
Following the reading of the verdict, Judge Gershwin Drain complimented the jury. “I don’t usually comment on a verdict, but this was a just verdict.” Multiple rulings by Judge Drain placed severe limitations on Odeh’s defense a made the semblance of a fair trial impossible.
Odeh’s attorneys have vowed to appeal the conviction, following her March 10, 2015 sentencing.
Prosecutor launches final attack
Prosecutor Jonathan Tukel then motioned to revoke Rasmea’s bond and for her to be taken directly into custody. Judge Drain continued his pretense of pondering his decisions, and came back two hours later and gave the government this travesty as well. He said she was a flight risk, because she had no real ties to keep her in Chicago or the U.S. This statement was made by the same man who ordered an overflow room to hold the scores of Rasmea’s supporters who packed the courtroom each day of the trial. He disregarded the love and dedication displayed by the Arab Women’s Committee members who spent a week away from their families to be in the audience throughout the trial.
Two U.S. Marshals then came in and led Rasmea way in handcuffs. After the judge left, Rasmea shouted to her supporters, “Don’t worry! I’m strong!” With this she showed the legendary spirit for which this legend was known back in Palestine, as well as among the community in Chicago.
The Rasmea Defense Committee is preparing a call for next steps in the continuing effort to free her. When Hatem Abudayyeh spoke to the crowd after the verdict was announced, he urged everyone to learn from her strength and continue to fight for justice for her, and to free Palestine.