(AP) The first Guantanamo detainee to face a civilian trial has been acquitted in New York City of all but one charge accusing him of a deadly 1998 plot to bomb two U.S. embassies in Africa.
Read the Full Story at Gitmo Detainee Acquitted of Most Terror Charges – CBS News.
New York Times
The first former Guantánamo detainee to be tried in a
civilian court was acquitted on Wednesday of all but one of
more than 280 charges of conspiracy and murder in the 1998
terrorist bombings of the United States Embassies in Nairobi,
Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The case has been seen as a test of President Obama’s goal of
trying detainees in federal court whenever feasible, and the
result may again fuel debate over whether civilian courts are
appropriate for trying terrorists.
The defendant, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, 36, was convicted of
one count of conspiracy to destroy government buildings and
The attacks, orchestrated by Al Qaeda, killed 224 people,
including 12 Americans, and wounded thousands of others.
Mr. Ghailani faces a sentence of 20 years to life in prison.
The trial at a lower Manhattan courthouse had been viewed as a possible test case for President Barack Obama administration’s aim of putting other terror detainees — including self-professed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — on trial on U.S. soil.
Ghailani’s prosecution also demonstrated some of the constitutional challenges the government would face if that happens. On the eve of his trial last month, the judge barred the government from calling a key witness because the witness had been identified while Ghailani was being held at a secret CIA camp where harsh interrogation techniques were used.