The lawyer for a Pakistani man accused of plotting jihadist violence is reportedly planning to try to bar Jews from the jury in his trial in Brooklyn federal court.
Defense lawyer Frederick Cohn says the views of Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, who’s accused of lying about trying to join jihadists in Pakistan, are too repellent for Jews to give him a fair shake, the New York Post reported.
“Given that there’s going to be inflammatory testimony about Jews and Zionism, I think it would be hard for Jews to cast aside any innate antipathy,” Cohn, who is Jewish himself, told the paper.
“The American Jewish community is heavily aligned with Israel and Zionism. Here is a guy who is a Muslim, who is opposed to those things.”
Prosecutors say the move is unconstitutional, but defense lawyers have traditionally been given wide latitude to exclude jurors for whatever reason they deem important.
Federal judge Robert Levy is expected to start picking the jury Monday.