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US: Make sure Arab activist puts up own bond money

December 10, 2014

DETROIT (AP) — Prosecutors have asked a Detroit federal judge to check the source of any bond money before releasing an Arab activist while she awaits sentencing for hiding her role in a fatal bombing in Israel.

The judge reversed himself Monday and said that 67-year-old Rasmieh Odeh can go free if she posts a $50,000 cash bond. She faces sentencing in March for immigration fraud for failing to disclose her conviction for a 1969 grocery store bombing in Jerusalem that killed two Hebrew University students.

On Tuesday, federal prosecutors said they fear Odeh might flee the country unless the bond is her own money. A support group has said it’s raising the bail money for her.

The Palestinian native runs daily operations at the Arab American Action Network in Chicago.

Israel released Odeh in 1979 as part of a prisoner swap with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the group behind the bombing.

Odeh probably “would suffer no personal loss by virtue of its forfeiture, and if money is raised from a large enough number of people, none of them would suffer a significant loss either,” prosecutors said in their filing.

They ask that Drain hold a hearing on the source of the money before releasing Odeh.

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