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Miami Muslim Cleric Competent To Stand Trial

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(Source: AP)

(Source: AP)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – An elderly Miami Muslim cleric has been found competent to stand trial on charges that he helped finance the Taliban in Pakistan.

U.S. District Judge Robert Scola issued the brief order this week after 77-year-old Hafiz Khan underwent a psychiatric evaluation. Details of the evaluation were sealed by the judge.

Khan’s defense attorney said he suffers from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. But prosecutors argued that Khan had to show he could not understand the legal proceedings and was unable to assist in his own defense.

Hafiz Khan and one of his sons are accused of wiring at least $50,000 to the Pakistani Taliban. Charges were dropped against a second son who was originally charged.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the money sent by this group was used to buy guns and fund a madrassa (religious school) owned by Hafiz Khan which sheltered terrorists and trained children to kill Americans.

Khan and his son are charged with four terrorism support-related crimes. The charges each carry potential 15-year prison sentences.

Trial is set for early January.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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