On April 29, 2011, the lead prosecutor from the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial said that politics played no role in Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision not to prosecute any of the un-indicted co-conspirators. Contradicting the unnamed source from Rep. Peter King’s (R-NY) April 15 letter to Holder, Jim Jacks told the Dallas Morning News that “If someone is telling [King] that the attorney general or the White House intervened to decline a prosecution in this matter, he is being misinformed. That did not happen.” Jacks’ statement is buttressed by court documents that show the creation of the list was a legal maneuver and not to pursue charges against those entities listed.
“The decision to indict or not indict a case is based upon an analysis of the evidence and the law,” said Jacks, a U.S. Attorney who has served as a federal prosecutor for almost 30 years. “That’s what happened in this case,” he added.
A spokesman for King said
that the congressman stood by his letter’s claims and that he was “reliably informed” that the decision not to seek indictments was politically motivated. As previously reported
, this claim is contradicted by statements made by government attorneys from the HLF trials at both the Federal District Court for the Northern Division of Texas, which tried the case, and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The opinions in both cases make it clear that the creation of the co-conspirator list was a legal maneuver. By naming co-conspirators, the government could use out-of-court statements as evidence that would normally be inadmissible as hearsay. For additional background about the un-indicted co-conspirator list and how its release violated the listed parties’ due process rights under the Fifth Amendment, click here
Nathan Garret, another prosecutor from the HLF trial and a former FBI agent, said, “decisions were hashed out in often tough and pressure-filled situations and conditions, but always — in my experience — grounded in evidence and law.” On April 18 Politico
and the Washington Post
reported that the Bush administration had also declined to prosecute.
The first trial of HLF and its leaders ended in a hung jury on Oct. 22, 2007. The case was re-tried, and the defendants were convicted
on Nov. 24, 2008. The appeal is now pending before the Fifth Circuit.