A judge is slated to issue a verdict on Monday in the case of a Sudanese activist and permanent U.S. resident facing terrorism charges in the African nation.
An attorney for Rudwan Dawod, 30, concluded his defense last week and a judge requested additional time to “allow the court to study the record,” said Kody Kness, deputy director of Sudan Sunrise, where Dawod works as a project director.
Kness said the presiding judge indicated he plans to issue a verdict in the case on Monday
Dawod’s supporters are “cautiously optimistic” that the permanent U.S. resident will not be found guilty on terrorism charges in Sudan, where he remains jailed and could face the death penalty.
“I don’t think that anyone would put it past the judge to give Rudwan an unfair verdict or a verdict not based on actual evidence, but the case presented by the defense was very strong,” Kness told FoxNews.com last week. “We’re cautiously optimistic for a not guilty verdict.”
Dawod, who was working to rebuild a Catholic cathedral in South Sudan after Sudanese forces burned it down, was arrested in Khartoum on July 3 while visiting relatives and attempting to renew his Sudanese passport.
Sudan Sunrise officials said Dawod was taken into custody while participating in a peaceful protest against the ongoing violence in the region and the Sudanese government’s austerity policies.
Dawod — who faces charges of terrorism and criminal organization, which can carry the death penalty — met his wife Nancy Williams Dawod while the two were working as volunteers at Sudan Sunrise in 2009. They later married, and the Oregon couple is now expecting their first child, whom they will name Sudan, in September.
Williams Dawod, of Springfield, Ore., told FoxNews.com her husband’s mantra has always been one of peace.
“He’s run a number of humanitarian projects in South Sudan and helped organize Muslims to rebuild a Catholic church in protest of a recent church burning in Khartoum,” she said last week. “His message is really always peaceful. My hope is that he will be here before our little girl Sudan is born. We just want him back home safely.”
After meeting late NBA star Manute Bol, Dawod, a native Darfurian, became actively involved in non-violent protest and humanitarian causes, including the construction of Manute Bol School in Turalei. Bol, 47, died in 2010 from a combination of kidney failure and Stevens-Johnson syndrome.