Al-Arian released after 5 years to await 2nd trial

A former Florida professor once accused of being a leading Palestinian terrorist was released from custody Tuesday for the first time in more than five years.

Sami Al-Arian was being held by immigration officials as he awaited trial on charges of refusing to testify before a grand jury about a cluster of Muslim organizations in northern Virginia. A federal judge on several occasions has expressed skepticism about the government's contempt charges, and last week ordered immigration authorities to explain by Tuesday afternoon why they were continuing to hold Al-Arian. He was released hours before the judge's deadline.

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