The co-founder of an Islamic charity in Ashland has been released to await trial on federal tax and conspiracy charges.

Pirouz Sedaghaty, known as Pete Seda, was in the Lane County Jail in Eugene while federal prosecutors argued against his release.

The 49-year-old Sedaghaty left the country in 2003, shortly before a federal grand jury indicted him and the Oregon chapter of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation.

The native of Iran has pleaded not guilty and said he returned in August to clear his name.

Sedaghaty built a reputation in Ashland as a peace activist but the government claims his charity was linked to terrorism.

The trial is scheduled for April.

- The Associated Press