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Terrorist on Trial: The United States vs. Salim Ajami (1988)

Not Rated | | Drama | TV Movie 10 January 1988
An Arab terrorist is smuggled out of West Beirut by American secret forces, he is charged with conspiracy to commit murder and killing five innocent people including a five-year-old child. ... See full summary »


Jeff Bleckner

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Waterston ... Jim Delmore
Ron Leibman ... Simon Resnick
Robert Davi ... Salim Ajami
Joe Morton ... Tandy
Jo Henderson Jo Henderson ... Judge Bonner
Stephen Lee ... Ellis
Frances Conroy ... Lyn Kessler
James Greene ... George Flanders
Sheila Kelley ... Trish
Nancy Stephens ... Ginny Delmore
Dakin Matthews ... Catlett
George Wallace ... Shoop (as George D. Wallace)
Nick Angotti Nick Angotti ... Major
Billy Beck ... Doorman
John Braden John Braden ... Justice Department Man


An Arab terrorist is smuggled out of West Beirut by American secret forces, he is charged with conspiracy to commit murder and killing five innocent people including a five-year-old child. An unprecedented trial commences as he is charged under a new Federal statute declaring murder of American civilians overseas a felony. Resnick, a Law Professor at a prestigious university hasn't fought a case in years. But he is one of the all time best defense lawyers in the country. He hesitantly takes the case. A battle between two of the most brilliant legal minds in the country gets underway in a trial intended as a showcase for American justice. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Is he a prisoner of justice ... or revenge.




Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

10 January 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hostile Witness See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

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19 March 2005 | by MadAdamSee all my reviews

I have it on DVD (in Australia), but it is titled 'In the Hands of the Enemy', and copyrighted 1994. I thought the producers were very brave to take on a subject such as this, and the script, direction and acting is superb all round. It is very realistic, and you can imagine it happening now, particularly with the current world situation. It is a very entertaining movie, and I would recommend it to any one 13 or 15 and over, as it may disturb some younger viewers - you remember how hard it was to explain 9/11 to most kids. It would also be a great movie for teachers to show in class, being great for social studies classes, legal studies or English classes, and would also be good to show for non-educational related purpose in any fun lesson. This is possibly the role that won Sam Waterston his role in Law and Order, and I would recommend fans of that show watch this movie, as the characters are close.

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