Dismissal Arguments Tomorrow For Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani

Monday, a federal judge in New York will hear arguments in the case of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, the former Guantanamo detainee charged in the 1998 African Embassy attacks.

Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, the first Guantanamo Bay prisoner to be prosecuted in a civilian U.S. court, says charges against him should be dismissed because he was not given a speedy trial. He is charged in the August 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa. They killed 224 people, including a dozen Americans.

His lawyers say he was arrested in Pakistan on July 24, 2004 and held in secret camps where he was questioned until September 2006, when he was moved to Guantanamo.

The Government insists in this the delay was necessary for national security reasons: "lives were at stake." [More...]

His lawyers laid out the history of the case in this January, 2009 response to a Government request for a continuance in the now-dismissed military tribunal proceeding.

Ghailani was indicted in 1998 in New York for the Tanzania embassy bombing. He was captured in Pakistan in 2004 and transferred to Guantanamo in 2006. In opposing the continuance of the military commission trial, they wrote:

Mr. Ghailani was indicted in the SDNY over ten years ago. Upon his capture in 2004, the United States government could have immediately taken him to the SDNY to face a Federal trial. Instead, insisting on a military commissions case, the government has needlessly incarcerated Mr. Ghailani for over four years with no opportunity to face the charges against him.

In June, 2009, Ghailani was brought to New York to stand trial and arraigned on the 1998 Indictment. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

The defendant, who could face the death penalty, has been accused of helping to obtain explosives and a truck for use in the attack on the embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and assisting with other logistics.

Mr. Ghailani, a Tanzanian who is believed to be in his mid-30s, was captured in 2004, then held in secret prisons run by the Central Intelligence Agency until his transfer in 2006 to the naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

The Government alleged in the military proceeding that he was a former cook and bodyguard to Osama bin Laden, that he went to an al Qaeda training camp, and was a document forger for al Qaeda from 2001 to 2004.

The case is United States v. Hage, 98 cr. 1023 (S-10). Judge Lewis Kaplan is presiding over tomorrow's hearing. More details of tomorrow's hearing are here.

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  • Display: Sort:
    If the right to a speedy trial... (none / 0) (#1)
    by kdog on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 07:21:41 PM EST
    means anything he must be released.

    And if he should return to run with AQ or whatever its all on the dolt who went and decided the right to a speedy trial is optional.

    kdog, two wrongs do not make a right (none / 0) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 08:04:20 PM EST
    Giving a terrorist (none / 0) (#4)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 09:07:21 PM EST
    a full up US criminal justice trial rather than a tribunal was the first mistake.

    I'll bet that Obama is hoping right along with me that some judge doesn't cut these people lose.

    If that happen's the Repubs will waltz in come Nov and 2012.


    Jim, the topic is this specific case (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 05:44:05 PM EST
    and the motion to dismiss -- and the government's arguments against dismissal. Please don't redirect the thread to a discussion about why you think there should be no criminal trials. This is a specific topic thread. Thank you.

    just another one (none / 0) (#8)
    by cpinva on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 09:57:00 PM EST
    of those "very annoying" constitutional rights.

    however, and this is kind of a big "however": why is he even being charged in the US to begin with? the alleged crimes took place on foreign, not US soil, why would a US court even be the right venue for trying him at all?