Updated 11/02/2009 06:37 PM
Queens Imam Pleads Not Guilty To Federal Charges
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A Queens imam accused of tipping off a suspected al-Qaida operative pleaded not guilty today during his arraignment to charges of lying to FBI agents.
Ahmad Afzali was arraigned Monday morning in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Prosecutors say Afzali told alleged terror suspect Najibullah Zazi and his father the two were under surveillance and then lied to the FBI about it. Afzali has denied the charges.
"If you look at the indictment itself the government again that claims he lied about the contents of conversations that he knew the government had recorded. And we know that he knows because he says on the tape itself 'this conversation is being monitored.' Why on earth would somebody lie about that?" said Afzali attorney Ron Kuby.
His next court date is December 11th.
Zazi is being held without bond in the city. He is accused of planning to build homemade bombs to use in an attack on the city's mass transit system.
He has pleaded not guilty to conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction.
His father has pleaded not guilty to lying to authorities.