By JODI-ANN MALARBE
A defendant accused of supporting the Islamic State faced a judge on Thursday in a pre-trial conference designed to set the ground rules for the upcoming terrorism trial in Brooklyn Federal Court.
The accused, Dilkhayot Kasimov, was charged for attempting to provide material support to ISIS by helping to raise money to finance a fellow co- defendant’s travel to Syria, for alleged terrorist network located in Brooklyn in 2015.
After an almost two-hour delay, the honorable Judge William F. Kuntz II promptly began proceedings by clarifying a request approved the previous day, which allowed the defense team to review information on defendant’s laptop, regarding messages sent between Kasimov and his co-defendants.
The judge then moved towards stating the process for the jury selection and the questions that the prosecution and defense team would be allowed to ask to eliminate jurors. One question asking jurors if they “know anyone who was killed or injured in a terrorist attack” was denied by the judge as “too broad” .
The Judge then went into specifics over the jury selection which will be an anonymous process occurring at a later date. Questionnaires would be provided to potential jurors, who would be given numbered paddles and numbers for the judge will call on, before each legal party gets to decide their legally allowed exclusions of jurors.
Later the defense team focused on the questioning of new witness FBI Agent Ryan Singer arguing for full access to the information involving his upcoming participation. The prosecution argued against full access finding all the information excluded from the defense to not be pertinent to the events of the case, leading the judge asking both parties to clear the conflict and return back to him before adjourning the conference to pick up again in the coming week.
Kasimov is one of six defendants arrested in conjunction with the financing and facilitation of of ISIS members, accused of raising $1,600 with fellow conspirator, Abror Habibov, to help fund Akhror Saidakhmetov and Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev to travel to Syria in support of the Caliphate. Kasimov along with Saidakhmetov, Habibov, and Akmal Zakirov, were all indicted in 2015 with Juraboev, pleading guilty in August of that year. Azizjon Rakhmatov, a fellow conspirator joined the list of defendants in 2016. The defendant has been in police custody since his arrest in February 2015 and still awaited trial