Originally created 05/01/06

Across the southeast

Former professor is likely to be deported

TAMPA, FLA. - A lengthy terrorism conspiracy case in which the government failed to win a conviction is drawing to a close, with a former college professor likely to soon walk out of a jail cell - straight into deportation.

Sami Al-Arian, a former University of South Florida computer engineering professor, is expected to be sentenced today for his April 14 guilty plea to one count of providing support to members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the terrorist group responsible for hundreds of deaths in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

He took the deal even though a jury didn't convict him on any of the 17 charges against him after five months of trial. His family said he did it to get out of jail and end their suffering. He has been behind bars since February 2003.

There is no clear indication where he will be sent, said Linda Moreno, one of his attorneys. Mr. al-Arian, 48, was born in Kuwait to Palestinian refugee parents, then reared mostly in Egypt before coming to the United States 30 years ago.

Duke lacrosse case plays role in election

DURHAM, N.C. - District Attorney Mike Nifong is up for election Tuesday in Durham, where rape allegations against members of Duke University's lacrosse team have turned what might have been a low-key election into a referendum on his performance in that case .

"I'm sure that after all this is over, people will say that I won because of how I handled this case or I lost because of this case," said Mr. Nifong, who was appointed to the office last year and is seeking election for the first time. "But no one will ever know."

The winner of the Democratic primary - Mr. Nifong, Freda Black or Keith Bishop - is likely be the next district attorney, because no Republicans are running. If no candidate wins at least 40 percent of the vote, the top two will advance to a May 30 runoff.

Even if Mr. Nifong loses, he will remain in office until January, allowing him to keep pursuing his case against two indicted players. He has said he does not intend to step down early if he loses.


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