Former Guantanamo detainee urges judge to clear him

The lawyers said that by largely acquitting the man, "the jury did not believe the government had proved its case."

Former Guantanamo detainee urges judge to clear him

Lawyers for the first Guantanamo detainee to have faced a U.S. civilian trial have asked the judge either to clear the Tanzanian 'terrorism suspect' or grant him another trial.

A U.S jury found Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, 36, not guilty of all but one charge in November following a five-week trial. He had been accused of conspiring in the 1998 al Qaeda bomb attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people.

In court papers made public on Friday, his lawyers urged U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan to rescind the verdict against Ghailani.

"Ghailani submits that his conviction should be vacated and the charges either dismissed or remanded for retrial," the court papers said.

The lawyers said that by largely acquitting the man, "the jury did not believe the government had proved its case."

Ghailani was convicted of one count of conspiracy to damage or destroy U.S. property with explosives, and cleared of 284 other conspiracy and murder charges.

The lawyers, however, said this was contradictory and should not be allowed to stand in light of the acquittal on all other counts.

Ghailani faces at least 20 years in prison and could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Ghailani's trial was watched closely as a test of U.S. President Barack Obama's approach to handling the 174 suspects held at Guantanamo Bay.

Obama has vowed to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay amid international condemnation of the treatment of detainees, but he has run into political resistance at home.

Ghailani was moved to Guantanamo Bay in late 2006 and transferred to New York in June 2009 to stand trial.

Reuters

Last Mod: 18 Aralık 2010, 15:04
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