A federal appeals court has overturned the 2010 conviction of the founder of the U.S. branch of an Islamic charity on charges he smuggled money out of the country to help Chechen rebels fight Russian forces.
The ruling Friday from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco says the government turned what was really a tax fraud case into a terrorism case.
In granting a new trial to Pete Seda, the court said the government failed to provide a fair summary of classified material to the defense. The court also found that the government exceeded the scope of a search warrant used to search computers seized from the foundation and failed to disclose that a prosecution witness had been paid.
Seda founded the now-defunct Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation in Ashland, Ore.