Rasmea Odeh’s new trial, originally set to start next month, has been delayed. It will now begin in federal court in Detroit on 16 May 2017.
Odeh’s defense requested the trial be delayed after prosecutors issued a new indictment against her earlier this month..
It adds two new allegations that were absent from the government’s previous case against the Chicago-based 69-year-old Palestinian American community leader: that Odeh was engaged in “terrorist activity” in 1969 when she was arrested by Israel and that she was associated with a “designated terrorist organization.”
The new charges came a week after Judge Drain granted Odeh a new trial that would allow her to present an expert witness to talk about the effects she experiences from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of torture and rape she endured by Israeli interrogators.
The new charges appear to try to circumvent her PTSD defense. Deutsch says the government hopes the PTSD defense would not apply to these allegations, since they allegedly took place before she was tortured by Israeli interrogators.
Deutsch told The Electronic Intifada that he will be filing a motion to dismiss the new indictment in mid-February.
If Drain accepts the new charges, a portion of the trial will be dedicated to proving Odeh was involved with a “designated terrorist organization.”
In Odeh’s first trial, Drain prohibited the prosecution from using the word “terrorism,” on the grounds that it would prejudice the jury.