‘Irvine 11’ evidence released by Orange County district attorney

Mohamed Abdelgany of the "Irvine 11" claps during a town hall meeting at the Islamic Institute of Orange County in Fullerton. (Dan Krauss, For The Times / September 25, 2011)

Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas on Wednesday released emails and court documents used in the trial to convict 10 Muslim students on criminal charges of disrupting a speech.

The so-called Irvine 11 were each convicted of two misdemeanors Friday for disrupting aUC Irvine event featuring Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren in February 2010.

The students face fines, probation and 56 hours of community service. Defense attorneys say they will appeal. Charges against an 11th defendant were dropped pending completion of community service.

The evidence includes two videos from the event, multiple email chains from the students who planned the disruption and minutes from meetings of the Muslim Student Union, an organization that has denied planning the protest but whose members were involved.

One email from a student summarizing the event said, “It is our duty to show the people who are going to listen that this man is a war criminal, and we will not allow a platform for him to spread lies on our campus, whether it be at UCI or any other campus around the nation.”

In May, Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter J. Wilson issued a gag order preventing anyone involved from talking about the case publicly.

Dist. Atty. spokeswoman Susan Kang Schroeder said the office was unable to respond to criticism contending racism and religious bias because of the gag order.

“We felt it was important for the public to examine it for themselves,” she said.

She said she felt that the defense supporters acted in an intimidating manner during the trial and that the students on trial were defiant after the verdict.

“They’ve shown absolutely no remorse for the fact that they committed a crime,” she said.

Jacqueline Goodman, one of the defense attorneys in the case, said it’s rare to devote so much energy to a misdemeanor, especially after a conviction. She added that the D.A.’s office is publicizing only a small portion of the evidence, which included thousands of pages of documents.

“They are only releasing the ones that look bad,” she said.

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