Rasmea Odeh, whose conviction and sentence, in a US District Court, for immigration fraud, was reversed, to allow her counsel to enter expert testimony at trial, will be tried again in January, 2017. Odeh, who was convicted, in Israel, for bombing a British Consulate, and a supermarket, which resulted in multiple fatalities and casualties, failed to disclose her conviction, and terrorist association, when applying for American citizenship. She was a known member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a designated terrorist organization.
Odeh, who was serving a life sentence for her involvement in these two terrorist bombings, and who was found to have bomb-making materials and explosive bricks, in addition to functional bombs, in her residence, was later freed, as a part of a prisoner exchange. She subsequently entered the United States through Jordan, under another name.
The defendant denied that she was ever advised that all foreign convictions were required to be disclosed, and it appears that she used an alias, in her citizenship application. After her Federal Court conviction, she was sentenced to 18 months in prison, and a revocation of her US citizenship.
On appeal, the defendant's counsel argued that it was error to bar expert testimony by an individual experienced in torture matters; Odeh claimed that her confession in the Israel case was obtained by torture, but has not explained her possession of explosive materials. The Sixth Circuit reversed and remanded, and sent the case back down to the trial court; it is scheduled to be heard in January.
The case has generated a large amount of media, as well as public, attention, due to the national debate over the threats posed by terrorism within the United States, and the well-founded fear that terrorists, from the Middle East, will be entering America, undetected, creating a clear and present danger. Her supporters, who have included Iranian-Americans, have used her case as a forum for anti-American, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks, including against those Officers of the Court who are Jewish, and ignored findings of fact in the original terrorist case, seeking to make a political statement.
There will be a pre-trial hearing, to determine whether the defendant's expert witness will be allowed to testify at the re-trial.
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