Seda's lawyers request new trial

PORTLAND — Defense lawyers have asked for a new trial for a Southern Oregon man convicted in what prosecutors allege was a scheme to smuggle money to Muslim fighters in Chechnya.

A defense motion says actions by prosecutors that included waving a Quran in the air and dropping it on the table in front of jurors tainted the trial of Pete Seda of Ashland.

He was found guilty Sept. 9 of conspiracy to defraud the government and filing a false tax return.

The prosecutors haven't responded to the defense's move.

Seda was a leader of an Oregon branch of the Saudi Arabian charity Al-Haramain, which the U.S. government declared a terrorist organization in 2004.

He faces sentencing Nov. 23.

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