Sept. 20, 2004 – Rafil Dhafir, the Syracuse-based oncologist charged with sending money to Iraq to help needy families suffering under UN sanctions, encountered another setback last week when a federal judge refused to dismiss his charges.
In the motion for dismissal, Dhafirâ€™s lawyer, Deveraux Cannick, argued that prosecutors had singled out Dhafir. Non-Muslim activists and US corporations, he stated, also routinely violated the sanctions against Iraq without being criminally prosecuted.
US District Judge Norman Mordue rejected that motion Monday, noting that Dhafir has also been charged with other crimes, including Medicare fraud, tax evasion and money laundering. In a February interview with The NewStandard, Dhafir denied being guilty of any charges.
His trial is scheduled to start September 27. If convicted, he could face a sentence of over 260 years in prison.