Seda asks for loosening of pre-trial restrictions

Pete Seda has asked a federal judge to relax the conditions for his release while awaiting trial on money-laundering and tax fraud charges stemming from operations of his defunct Ashland Islamic charity the government says had aided terrorism.

Seda's attorneys have asked that his computer no longer be randomly monitored, that he not have to wear a GPS device and that he no longer be bound to his residence when not otherwise specifically allowed, court papers show.

The motion also states that Seda has been living in a Portland apartment and "gainfully employed" since April, but records listed no other information about the work for the former Ashland arborist.

The request was filed July 23 in U.S. District Court, where Seda's trial is scheduled in October.

Seda, 50, has been free under federal restrictions since November, 2 1/2 months after he returned from the Middle East as a federal fugitive to fight charges related to his activities with his Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation chapter he ran out of his Ashland home.

He was indicted in 2005 on money-laundering and tax fraud stemming from the alleged smuggling in 2000 of $150,000 from Oregon to Saudi Arabia to help Muslim refugees in Chechnya later labeled as terrorists.

The chapter and its other officer, a Saudi Arabian national named Soliman Al-Buthi, who is a codefendant in the case, have both been labeled as supporters of terrorism by the U.S. government. Seda has sidestepped that designation.

— Mark Freeman

Share This Story