Seda on way back to Ashland

Newly freed Pete Seda was en route to Ashland this afternoon, where he will await his April trial on money-laundering and tax-cheat charges stemming from work at his defunct Islamic charity here.

After posting a $150,000 appearance bond and agreeing to have his movements monitored by a global positioning system, the 49-year-old Seda stepped this afternoon out of the Lane County Jail.

Seda had been held there since Aug. 15, when he flew from the Middle East to Portland to face charges that he and his Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation helped smuggle $150,000 in traveler's and a cashier's check to help Muslim rebels in Chechnya. Those rebels later were labeled as international terrorists.

After six detention hearings and more than three weeks with no public comment on the case, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan signed Seda's release today. He agreed in court papers that Seda would not be a flight risk or a community threat if he followed the conditions of his release.

Seda will live in the Ashland home of friends Paul and Margaret Copeland, according to court records.

— Mark Freeman

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