Lawyers for Yassin Aref filing motion for new trial citing new e - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Lawyers for Yassin Aref filing motion for new trial citing new evidence

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Photo: Defense lawyer Kathy Manley speaks with Reporter Taryn Kane. (NEWS CENTER) Photo: Defense lawyer Kathy Manley speaks with Reporter Taryn Kane. (NEWS CENTER)

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Friday night's rally re-energized the community, many who have been supporting Yassin Aref, an Islamic leader convicted on terror-related charges, from the beginning.

Aref's oldest son says he is hopeful what the attorneys are calling "new evidence" will help give his father a second chance.

Dozens rallied in support of Yassin Aref, who they say never had a fair fight during his trial in 2006.  

Aref's oldest son tells me the past 7 years without his father home have been difficult.

"It's very hard on my mom," says Raiber Muhiddin. "She thinks about it every day and she has a tough time taking this in.  She doesn't understand how this could happen, because she knows the innocence of my dad."

His innocence is Aref's supporters and attorneys are trying to prove once again.  Aref himself FOILED documents from federal prison, where's he's serving his 15 year sentence.  

Aref's lawyer, Kathy Manley, says the documents, used in court back in 2005, allege Aref had connections to Al-Qaeda, saying he was "also known as Mohammad Yasin."

"This was briefed to the office of the president, even to the office of the vice-president," says Kathy Manley. "This case was briefed at very high levels, we didn't understand why.  But now we know it's because they thought he was an Iraqi in Al-Qaeda in 2002."

"All these people see the great injustice that has been done," adds Muhiddin. "They see my dad is innocent, and they're willing to do such great things, like walk all the way to Binghamton, in support of this."

Aref's son talks about a walk, spearheaded by Lynne Jackson and Project SALAM.  Jackson and other supporters of Aref will begin a 10-day walk to Binghamton, where the home office is of the judge who originally presided over the case, with a petition to re-open the case. 

During Friday night's rally, 200 cases were put up on the wall of the mosque, Aref's supporters saying he is not the only so-called victim of pre-emptive prosecution. 

"I feel kind of hopeful," says Muhiddin.  "The evidence makes sense, there are good arguments. I hope that it can be successful."

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