Former Iowa slaughterhouse manager extradited from Israel, pleads not guilty to charges

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – After fleeing to Israel following a 2008 immigration raid, a former manager at a kosher slaughterhouse in Iowa has appeared in a U.S. courtroom to answer charges that he harboured immigrants in the country illegally for profit.

With his hands and feet shackled, Hasam Omara walked slowly into the federal courtroom in Cedar Rapids on Friday.

Omara pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging him with 25 counts related to harbouring people in the U.S. illegally and two counts related to document fraud.

Omara fled to Israel, where he has citizenship, after the raid at the former Agriprocessors plant in Postville, which resulted in the arrest of 389 workers.

He was a poultry production manager.

Israel authorities arrested him in 2011 and he was extradited to the U.S. on Thursday.