Rasmieh Odeh, a 67-year-old Palestinian convicted of naturalization fraud in Detroit last month, can be freed on bond pending a March 10 sentencing date, a federal judge ruled Monday.
U.S. District Court Judge Gershwin A. Drain originally ordered that Odeh be jailed while awaiting her sentence for naturalization fraud, finding that she was a flight risk. Monday's order reverses that, based on Odeh's strong community ties in Chicago. But, Drain indicated, he still has concerns about Odeh's respect for the court, ordering a $50,000 cash bond before she can be released and mandating bi-weekly reports to the probation office.
Jurors found Odeh guilty due to her failure to disclose convictions in an Israeli court stemming from a 1969 terrorist bombing in a Jerusalem supermarket. She is certain to be sentenced for the fraud and faces "certain removal from the United States upon completion of that sentence," Drain wrote. She never would have been admitted to the United States had she been truthful about her record, he added. Being connected with a bombing, which killed two Hebrew University students, "demonstrated a lack of good moral character that is required for eligibility to immigrate."
Between the jury's verdict Nov. 10 and Drain's decision to hold her without bond pending sentencing, a defiant Odeh told supporters outside court that she did not receive justice and described the verdict as racist.
That attitude, along with Odeh's "serial dishonesty" and repeated violations of the court's limitations on her testimony were sufficient to show she should not be trusted to adhere to subsequent court orders and show up for her sentencing, prosecutors argued. She faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.
Drain granted the pre-sentence bond, but cited the prosecutions concerns about Odeh's "seeming proclivity for dishonesty, as well as her apparent disdain for this Court's Orders." Read the full order here.