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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 »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Mediocre production with outstanding performances.
31 May 2004 | by TonyTaralSee all my reviews

Got to hand it to ya,

Bleckner did a great job directing in this gripping drama piece. But what I found the most impressive aspect of the production was the casting. This is an ensemble of high elegance and talent.

Robert Davi is totally convincing as the "terrorist on trial" And both Sam Waterson and Ron leibman is in the position where you could'nt imagine anyone else in their roles, this is textbook casting.

I had rather low expectations to this movie, mostly because of this DVD release, its a common Scandinavian release, the picture quality is as poor as the soundtrack. But in the end this does not matter at all-.

The story as it is told is as important today as it was then. we deal with some of the same conflicts today. And through this story you get to see the conflict from the Palestinian point of view and their story, and I gotta say it could be a wake up call for the ignorant.

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