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U.S. Magistrate Forces News Reporter to Testify in Holy Land Trial

Last week we told you about how Steve McGonigle, reporter over at The Dallas Morning News, was trying to fight a federal subpoena. Because, see, the U.S. government wants him to testify next month when the government finally goes to trial with its case against the Richardson-based Holy Land Foundation. Seems the prosecutors think McGonigle has something to say about his 1999 interview with the spiritual leader and co-founder of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, who denied to the News reporter that Hamas and Holy Land Foundation had any connection whatsoever.

Well, comes news today via the New York Sun that U.S. Magistrate Paul Stickney denied McGonigle's attempts to quash the subpoena. He did it during a hearing on Monday, after prosecutors filed papers in which they called McGonigle an "unwitting" participant in an "orchestrated plan to help hide the defendants' connections to Hamas." The New York paper says the feds also want to interrogate McGonigle "about a Gaza journalist who helped arrange the interview." The ruling can be appealed, but McGonigle and attorneys and editors at Dallas' Only Daily aren't talking to the Sun or anyone else about the next step. --Robert Wilonsky

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