A federal judge has denied a request by defense attorneys in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing case who asked that next month's retrial be delayed.
In an opinion issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis called their claim that they cannot be ready for trial because of delays in payments of their court-appointed attorneys' fees "hyperbolic and inaccurate."
Judge Solis chastised the court-appointed attorneys in the case for waiting until late March, about five months after the October mistrial, to file their budget for the retrial, which includes expenses for pretrial preparation such as pay for experts and air travel.
The judge said that after they submitted their budget to him in late March, twice he had to ask them for more detail and explanations of what he thought were "unreasonable" expenses before finally feeling comfortable enough to forward the budget to the circuit court for review in June.
Judge Solis said that the month it took the 5th Circuit to review and, on Aug. 1, approve the defense budget is not unreasonable, given the amount of taxpayer money they are asking the system to provide them.
"Their accusation that the courts are 'not acting' on their requests for funding is misleading at best," the judge wrote. "Defendants helped create the budget crunch they find themselves in by not submitting a complete budget proposal until June 13, 2008."