The Miami-Herald reports a Florida businessman accused of selling video-game players to a Paraguayan shopping mall designated by federal authorities as a front for a Middle East terrorist group was granted a $1.55 million bond in federal court on Monday. But Khaled Safadi, 56, charged with two other Miami-Dade business associates in a terrorism-related conspiracy indictment last month, can post the bond by putting down $100,000 cash and securing the rest with his home and other assets, a U.S. magistrate ruled.
Federal prosecutors argued that Safadi, a Paraguayan citizen with legal U.S. residency, was a flight risk and should be detained before trial. His lawyer, Michael Tein, mocked the government’s prosecution as a trumped-up “civil customs violation” and argued that he should be released on a $50,000 bond. Magistrate Judge William Turnoff, noting that Safadi had no prior criminal record and strong ties to his family and community, decided that the defendant should be released before trial but reminded him of the severity of the charges. “I hope you understand what’s going on here”, Turnoff said. “It’s a very serious matter”.