A Palestinian refugee in Houston convicted of attempting to back Islamic State terrorists overseas is seeking a new federal trial, claiming he didn’t understand the consequences of violating the terms of supervised release when he pleaded guilty.
Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, who came to the U.S. in 2009, alleges that U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes did not clearly advise him that he faced a possible life term for violating federal probation if he entered a guilty plea, according to court document filed Tuesday. Al Hardan, who had an Arabic interpreter for the proceeding, also says his court-appointed lawyer failed to ensure that the judge advised him of this possibility.
However, David Adler, Al Hardan’s court-appointed trial lawyer, noted in an email that the judge appears to have warned Al Hardan about this scenario, and pointed to a verbatim excerpt of the hearing quoted in Al Hardan’s appellate brief. more