Radio station KPCC 89.3 reported today the Orange County district attorney's office has convened a grand jury to look into the possibility of filing conspiracy charges against a group of Muslim students busted at the UC Irvine campus in 2010 for disrupting the speech of U.S. Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren.
The information was reported during Larry Mantle's morning show,
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, which then opened the phones to callers expressing incredulity that a grand jury was convened for what they feel is essentially a free-speech issue. There were also those who theorized that a politically motivated Tony Rackauckas is strategically appeasing conservative Jewish Orange County constituents. Orange County DA's office spokeswoman Farrah Emami declined to comment, saying it was the policy of that office to not discuss grand-jury proceedings.
The incident in question involves a group of Muslim students, now referred to as the Irvine 11, who on Feb. 8 of last year were reportedly shouting as Oren delivered a speech on U.S.-Isreli security to an audience of 500.
The actions were disruptive enough to lead Oren to take a 20-minute break during the speech, after which the students were arrested. The Muslim Student Union, who denied organizing the protest, was suspended for one year.