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JUDGE MAY RULE MONDAY ON BAIL FOR ABUHAMRA

A federal judge may decide Monday whether to release jailed American Muslim businessman Mohammed Abuhamra on bail.

And the judge -- Richard J. Arcara -- told federal prosecutors Tuesday that he doesn't want to receive any more secret information from them before he reaches his decision.

"Monday, at 3 o'clock, I want everything done," Arcara said. "I don't want anything filed under seal."

Abuhamra, 54, has been held without bail since last March, when he was convicted of smuggling untaxed cigarettes. Last week, the 2nd Circuit Appeals Court told Arcara to reconsider releasing Abuhamra on bail while he awaits sentencing.

The appeals court noted that Arcara decided in April to keep Abuhamra in jail last April based on secret government information that was given to the judge while Abuhamra's defense lawyer, David G. Jay, was kept out of the courtroom.

Twenty friends and family members of Abuhamra from the Muslim community were in court when Arcara met with lawyers in the case late Tuesday. Many were upset that the judge has not already released Abuhamra.

"This is America. To see something like this happen in the American courts is ridiculous," said Mohamed Saleh, a leader of the Guidance Mosque in Lackawanna.

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