lördag, mars 14, 2009

Sveriges problem att hantera Al Aqsa Spannmål

Varför gick det som det gick i rättegången mot Al Aqsa Spannmål i Malmö, som friades från misstankar om ekonomiskt stöd till Hamas?

Michael Jonsson och Christian Nils Larson har tillsammans skrivit en artikel i Jamestown Foundations Terrorism Monitor. Rubriken är talande, även om texten dessutom innehåller en matig utblick över andra europeiska länders sätt att hantera Al Aqsa: Scandinavian Trials Demonstrate Difficulty of Obtaining Terrorist Financing Convictions.

In largely similar cases, EU members have taken a wide variety of legal and administrative actions against organizations carrying the al-Aqsa name. In Sweden and Denmark, lengthy criminal investigations followed by criminal prosecutions have both ended in acquittals. This is in part because of the high evidentiary standards applied by the courts, but mainly because much of the evidence provided by Israel was discarded. The reliance on evidence from Israel and lower evidentiary thresholds were important factors in several German and Dutch court decisions to uphold administrative bans on al-Aqsa organizations in those countries.
Artikeln redogör ingående för problematiken i Malmö-rättegången.
The court’s verdict followed a tough evaluation of the evidence presented. The court said that because Israel and Hamas are engaged in a “war-like situation,” the Israeli view of Hamas as a terrorist organization and the outlawing of the charities in question “should be regarded as entirely irrelevant.” The court also rejected documents seized by Israeli authorities in Hebron in June 2002 that allegedly show that Hamas’ social, political, and military activities are all related. Because the documents’ authenticity could not be verified, they had “very little or no value” as evidence. Lastly, the court said that evidence from two trials by an Israeli court in Samaria “cannot be given any decisive importance” because of the “war-like situation” in Israel and Palestine, as the trials were conducted on occupied territory and the original documents were not presented.

Citing various concerns, the Swedish court largely discarded as evidence an FBI wiretap of a 1993 meeting of Hamas operatives in Philadelphia, a statement from the PLO, and a letter from the late Shaykh Ahmad Yassin (the spiritual leader of Hamas) that had been used in a German trial. The evidence the court found to be most credible was wiretaps indicating that al-Aqsa supported the families of martyrs and Hamas activists, and that money sent to Human Appeal may have been forwarded to other charities.


Especially interesting in terms of the alleged sanctions law violation is the court’s argument that while a wiretap suggests that al-Aqsa Spannmål Stiftelse “supports the families of martyrs… this does not show that there is an economic connection” to Hamas. It appears that the court has not considered the fungibility aspect whereby support given to the families of “martyrs” or Hamas members may free up Hamas’ funds for other purposes. This argument assumes that Hamas would fund the families of “martyrs” if charities were not doing so.