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Judge Orders Damra’s Release

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 at 11:50 AM

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Fawaz Damra, the former spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of Cleveland, may be freed soon from an Israeli jail. ideastream's Bill Rice reports.

A military court judge ordered Damra’s release Tuesday after a hearing with Israeli security and Damra’s lawyers. The judge set his bond at $2,000 but, Israeli authorities have up to 72 hours to decide whether they will appeal the ruling.

Damra’s U.S. Attorney Mohammed Abdrabboh says the judge’s decision is unusual because military court judges typically side with the government.

Mohammed Abdrabboh: For a judge to be willing to release somebody, it kind of sends a message that there really isn’t anything there.

Damra has sat in a northern Israel jail for nearly three weeks after being deported by U.S. officials. But, his attorney Abdrabboh remains optimistic about his client’s fate.

Mohammed Abdrabboh: We’re cautiously optimistic that ordeal will be finished and that he’d be allowed to resume the rest of his life as a free man. And his family can make arrangements for reunification.

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