EUGENE, Ore. – A longtime friend of a man accused of using an Islamic charity to smuggle money to Muslim fighters in Chechnya has testified that defendant Pete Seda wanted to promote peace and help orphans.
Seda is on trial in federal court in Eugene, Ore., on charges he and a fellow officer of the U.S. branch of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation smuggled $150,000 to Saudi Arabia in March 2000 in hopes that the money would reach mujahedeen in Chechnya.
David Rodgers testified Tuesday. He lives in Saudi Arabia and has known Seda since high school. He read from the charity's statement of purpose, which includes promoting "peace through understanding of Islam." In answer to a question, Rodgers said his friend never talked about sending money to fund fighting in Chechnya.
KLCC Radio reports that testimony in the trial is expected to wrap up this week.
Information from: KLCC-FM, http://www.klcc.org/