Terrorism

Padilla Case Goes to Jury

Posted Aug 15, 2007 8:50 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Jurors begin deliberations today in the trial of Jose Padilla, accused of a terrorist plot to murder and maim people overseas.

In closing arguments yesterday, Padilla’s lawyer said his client traveled to Egypt to study Islam rather than to join a terrorist cell, the Miami Herald reports. Public defender Michael Caruso said Padilla didn’t fill out an al-Qaida application and never trained with the group.

Caruso implied that Padilla’s fingerprints on the application got there when he handled the form while in U.S. custody. He accused the government of failing to present hard evidence.

''This is a giant game of six degrees of separation based on artificial associations and suspicion,'' Caruso said.

The lawyer also took prosecutors to task for showing a photo of Padilla wearing a checked Arab headdress, the New York Times reports.

“They picked this picture to scare you,” he said.

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