Hearing on Terrorist Status for Islamic Charity

By Staff | March 8, 2011 | 4:02 PM EST

Medford, Ore. (AP) - A federal appeals court will hear arguments on whether the government violated the constitutional rights of an Islamic charity that it declared a terrorist organization.

The Medford Mail Tribune reports that the 9th U.S. Circuit court of Appeals will hold a hearing Wednesday in Portland on the now-defunct American branch of Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation.

The U.S. Treasury Department declared the Ashland, Ore.-based group a terrorist organization in 2004, saying it had ties to Osama bin Laden and Islamic fighters in Chechnya.

At issue is whether the government gave Al-Haramain a chance to respond to the allegations before the declaration was imposed.

Al-Haramain co-founder Pete Seda, also known as Pirouz Sedaghaty, was convicted last year of helping to smuggle $150,000 to Saudi Arabia in 2000.