U.S Courts to hear case against Anti-terrorism Law

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 06 October 2004, 01:00 GMT]
The Ninth Circuit Court in California is scheduled to hear an oral argument against a provision of the Antiterrorism and Death Penalty Act on 14 December in Pasadena, legal sources said. The law suit was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in the U.S. District Court in March 1998 on behalf of eight plaintiffs including the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

David Cole, Georgetown UniversityProfessor David Cole of Georgetown University Law Center - a cooperating attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights - will argue the case for the plaintiffs, according to Nancy Chang, a senior attorney with CCR.

The Ninth Circuit will convene a special "en banc" session to hear this case. Instead of the usual panel of three judges, eleven judges (or a majority of the court) will sit on the panel and issue a ruling.

Ninth Circuit website indicates that the issue to be taken up in the hearing is "whether a criminal prosecution under 18 U.S.C. § 2339B of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act requires the government to prove as an element of the offense that the defendant knew the organization had been designated by the Secretary of State as a foreign terrorist organization, or at least knew of the organization's unlawful terrorist activities."


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