Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Al-Qaeda Embassy Bomber Acquitted Of All But One Charge In NY Civilian Court

The verdict is in for the trial of Ahmed Ghailani for his part in the 1998 bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. 224 people were murdered in those bombings. including 12 Americans.

The Ghailani case was something of a showpiece for the Obama Department of Justice, the first civilian trial of a Guantamano prisoner.

After 4 1/2 days of deliberation, the jury convicted him of conspiring to destroy US buildings and property, but acquitted Ghailani of more than 280 other counts, including the main charges of murder and murder conspiracy.

He'll likely end up with a 20-to-life sentence, with reductions for time served and good behavior.

"We respect the jury's verdict and are pleased that Ahmed Ghailani now faces a minimum of 20 years in prison and a potential life sentence," was the Justice Department's comment.

Rep. Pete King (R- NY) has been an outspoken opponent of civilian trials for Islamist terrorists and was not exactly pleased with the result. He called the mixed verdict "a disgraceful miscarriage of justice."

"It shows how totally wrong the Obama administration is to bring a case like this to civilian court," he said. "He was acquitted of 224 counts of murder."

"If this had been before a military tribunal, evidence that was blocked in this case would have been admissible," King said.

One instance of what Rep. King was talking about happened when Judge Lewis Kaplan barred a key witness from testifying because the man's name came up while Ghailani was held at a CIA camp where some suspects allegedly were 'tortured', although there was no allegation that Ghailiani was.

A military tribunal would have allowed that evidence.

Ghailani's lawyer Peter Quijano argued that Ghailani was a "dupe" who was kept in the dark about the embassy bombings. They didn't bother to call any witnesses to testify on his behalf in the month-long trial.

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1 comment:

yzernik said...

I remember the Obama campaign defended Bill Ayers by saying he wasn't a terrorist. All he did was "conspire to destroy government property".