The co-founder of the American branch of a defunct Islamic charity is going on trial on charges he tried to send $150,000 to Muslim revolutionaries in Chechnya.

The co-founder of the American branch of a defunct Islamic charity is going on trial on charges he tried to send $150,000 to Muslim revolutionaries in Chechnya.

Jury selection was set to begin this morning in U.S. District court in Eugene for Pete Seda, also known as Pirouz Sedaghaty.

Seda was a well-known figure in Ashland, where he had a tree trimming business and regularly spoke out on the peaceful side of Islam.

He left the country before being indicted, but returned three years ago to face the charges.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, tax fraud and failing to report $150,000 was being taken out of the country.

He contends that the money was intended for refugees, not fighters.

— The Associated Press