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TV talks lead to terrorism charges

Nation in Brief / NEW YORK

May 29, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

Two men accused of agreeing to broadcast Hezbollah's television channel to U.S. customers will face trial on terrorism charges in January, U.S. District Judge Richard Berman ruled.

Javed Iqbal, 44, and Saleh Elahwal, 55, face what defense lawyers call one of the more unusual terrorism cases.

The charges stem from negotiations that Iqbal and Elahwal allegedly conducted on behalf of their company, HDTV Ltd., with Beirut-based Al Manar. The U.S. classifies the channel and its sponsor, Hezbollah, as terrorist organizations.

Hezbollah is an Iranian- and Syrian-backed Shiite militant and political movement that operates in Lebanon.

Both men pleaded not guilty and are free on bond. If convicted on all charges, they each face a combined maximum of more than 100 years in prison.

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