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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 01 September 2010

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- The trial in federal court in Eugene for the co-founder of the U.S. branch of an Islamic charity opens with prosecution witnesses on Tuesday.
Pete Seda, also known as Pirouz Sedaghaty, is charged with helping to smuggle $150,000 out of the country to help Muslim fighters trying to overthrow the government of Chechnya.
In opening statements on Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Cardani said Seda went to great lengths to obscure the paper trail for the money, buying travelers checks instead of just wiring money donated by an Egyptian living in London.
Defense lawyer Larry Matasar countered that Seda was interested in helping refugees, and mistakes on a document key to the prosecution case were not made by Seda, but by his accountant.

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