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Translator: Padilla Feeling Charitable

Posted Jun 15, 2007 9:51 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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As the ongoing terrorism support trial of Jose Padilla ended its fifth week in Miami, even the government's own witness had to concede in cross-examination that the defense had a point.

The lead investigator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation testified that a translator said Padilla might have been thought to be involved in a legitimate effort to send charitable relief to struggling fellow Muslims abroad. But the FBI agent insisted that seemingly innocent terms used by Padilla in intercepted phone conversations also had a more sinister meaning, reports AP. For example, "tourism" was code for "jihad," said John T. Kavanaugh, explaining that the translator "didn't have the advantage I had of reviewing all the materials."

Held for three years as an "enemy combatant" and initially accused of plotting to detonate a so-called dirty bomb in the U.S., Padilla is now being tried on lesser charges.The trial is expected to continue throughout most of the summer.

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