TV bosses charged over al-Manar
Terrorism charges are brought against two men for airing Hezbollah's al-Manar TV.
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2006 11:44 GMT
Al-Manar's logo

Two men have had terrorism charges brought against them in the US for providing satellite broadcasts of al-Manar television, which is owned by Hezbollah.


Saleh Elahwal, and Javed Iqbal, were charged with providing material support to al-Manar, an indictment read.

Both men pleaded not guilty during a hearing in Manhattan federal court on Monday, but could face up to of 110 years in prison if convicted.


Elahwal was released on $400,000 bail, while Iqbal was released on $250,000 bail.

Lawyers for both men did not comment. The men are due to appear again on January 8.


'Recruitment activities'


The US treasury department froze the US assets of al-Manar, the Lebanon-based channel in March, saying it supported the fund-raising and recruitment activities of Hezbollah.


Iqbal, a Pakistani who moved to the US 24 years ago and lives in New York, was arrested and first charged in August with providing satellite customers with the Hezbollah-operated channel.


Al-Manar regularly airs speeches by Hassan Nasrallah,
the Hezbollah director-general

According to the new charges, between September 2005 and August 2006, the two men used the television company they own, Brooklyn-based HDTV, to negotiate with representatives of the al-Manar network to air the channel.


Court documents said Elahwal, who lives in New Jersey, and Iqbal were paid by al-Manar more than $111,000 between December and March.


The channel provided wide coverage of the war between Hezbollah and Israel last summer, broadcasting exclusive footage shot by Hezbollah fighters. It was attacked by Israeli air strikes during the 34-day war.

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