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Defendant In Minn. Somali Case Gets Own Interpreter

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A Somali man accused of helping finance fighters for the terror group al-Shabab will be allowed to have his own court interpreter.

Attorneys for Mahamud Said Omar say their client speaks a different dialect of Somali and is entitled to an interpreter who speaks his native language.

Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis granted the request Friday.

Prosecutors had objected, saying Omar gave interviews in custody that show he was “perfectly fluent” in what’s often called the standard Somali dialect.

Omar was arrested in the Netherlands in 2009 and extradited to the United States in August. He faces five counts in the U.S. government’s investigation into the recruitment of at least 21 men who authorities believe left Minnesota to join al-Shabab in Somalia.

His family has said he is innocent.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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