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updated: 2/19/2013 11:25 AM

Fla. imam takes stand, denies Taliban connection

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Associated Press

MIAMI -- Testifying in his own defense, an elderly Muslim cleric who lives in South Florida is denying any connection to the Pakistani Taliban terrorist organization.

Seventy-seven-year-old Hafiz Khan took the witness stand Tuesday in a Miami federal courtroom. Khan declared he is innocent of U.S. charges that he sent at least $50,000 to help finance Taliban fighters. Khan says he is a proud U.S. citizen.

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Khan has been jailed since his May 2011 arrest on four terrorism support-related charges. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison on each count.

Khan took the stand after defense lawyers were unable to restore a video link to witnesses testifying from Pakistan. That link was mysteriously cut last week.

Charges were previously dropped against two of Khan's sons in the U.S.

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