Jailed Iraqi-American physician and philanthropist Rafil Dhafir will be resentenced on January 5th, 2012 at 10 a.m. in the Federal Building in Syracuse, New York. Dhafir, imprisoned for the last five years at the high security Communications Management Unit in Terre Haute, Indiana, will not be present as he did not want to travel. Judge Mordue has granted his request that he not be present.
Dhafir was originally sentenced to nearly 22 years, but the federal appeals court, when remanding the case to the trial judge for re-sentencing last year on technical grounds, suggested an even longer term might be in order.
Dhafir founded Help the Needy, a charity that directed more than $1M in aid to Iraqi civilians during the era of U.S. sanctions, 1991-2003. He was arrested February 26, 2003, on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, and repeatedly branded in public as a funder of terrorism. He was denied bail for 19 months before trial, and because all of his business records were seized when he was arrested, he was eventually prosecuted in large part for money laundering related to the unregistered charity and medicare billing violations. Dhafir’s conviction is still cited by the Department of Justice as a successful antiterrorist prosecution, although any mention of such public allegations was specifically forbidden at his trial.
For more information and background on Dr. Dhafir’s charity and prosecution, visit dhafirtrial.net.