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Chicago activist denies immigration crime

November 7, 2014
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Rasmieh Odeh stands with supporters outside the federal courthouse in Detroit on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014 Odeh, associate director at Chicago's Arab American Action Network, is charged with failing to tell U.S. immigration about her conviction for bombings in Israel in 1969 that killed two people at a supermarket. (AP Photo/Ed White)

DETROIT (AP) — A Chicago activist charged in Detroit with illegally getting U.S. citizenship has denied under tense cross-examination that she covered up her convictions for bombings in Israel.

Jurors heard closing arguments Friday after Rasmieh Odeh finished testifying. They will start deliberations Monday in Detroit federal court.

Odeh is associate director at the Arab American Action Network in Chicago. She answered “no” on her citizenship application in 2004 when asked about criminal history, despite spending a decade in an Israeli prison for bombings in 1969.

Odeh insists she believed the questions were related to a criminal record in the U.S., not abroad. She clashed repeatedly with prosecutor Jonathan Tukel during her testimony.

Tukel told jurors it’s “ridiculous” to believe Odeh’s explanation. Defense lawyer Michael Deutsch says the citizenship form wasn’t clear.

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