FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force agents searched the Southfield headquarters of Life for Relief and Development last September. Agents hauled away computers, documents, letters and ledgers, but no one was charged and the agency was allowed to continue operating.
The charity said in a recent court filing that it had been told the U.S. attorney's office would provide the records, but only if Life for Relief paid copying charges of between $21,000 and $115,000.
The government, which has copied and returned the group's computerized files but continues to hold reams of paper records, has filed sealed documents—which only the judge can read—explaining why it believes Life for Relief, and not the government, should pay for the copying.
Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said charging Life for Relief for photocopying was akin to making the agency pay the FBI for the cost of its investigation.
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