NY Federal Judge Rejects Dismissal of Terror Case

U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled yesterday that a defendant accused of the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa, alleged al Qaeda member Ahmed Ghailani, is not entitled to have his criminal case dismissed over allegations he was tortured during CIA questioning in a secret black hole prison. (He was later transferred to Guantanamo and ordered tried in federal court.)

Although details of his treatment while in C.I.A. custody are classified, he has said in court papers that he was subjected to cruel “enhanced interrogation techniques.” His lawyers say that his treatment was unquestionably “torture,” and argued that the techniques were so “shocking to our traditional sense of justice” that charges should be dismissed on grounds of “outrageous governmental conduct.” “Indeed, while it is rare to find a case that is ‘so outrageous’ to warrant the ultimate sanction of dismissal,” his lawyers wrote, “if this is not such a case, then what is?”

The Government has stated it won't use Ghailani's statements at trial so the Judge ruled they were irrelevant. [More...]

“Even if Ghailani was mistreated while in C.I.A. custody and even if that mistreatment violated the due process clause,” the judge wrote, “there would be no connection between such mistreatment and this prosecution.”

Ghailani stopped attending court months ago due to being humiliated by strip searchs involving visual inspection of his rectum. A few days ago, the Judge denied a motion requesting he order the Bureau of Prisons to cease the practice. The Judge said it was a "non-intrusive inspection." He also ordered Ghailani to be brought to court for the hearing on the motion. That ruling is here.

< Will Elena Kagan Move Court to the Right? | Obama To Unveil New Drug Control Policy >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Lewis Black? (none / 0) (#1)
    by lawstudent on Tue May 11, 2010 at 06:33:19 AM EST
    I believe Judge Lewis Kaplan is the judge...not the comedian Lewis Black.  :)

    right you are lawstudent. (none / 0) (#2)
    by cpinva on Tue May 11, 2010 at 07:16:07 AM EST
    one silly question:

    if the crimes were committed in various african countries, how did the U.S. become the appropriate place to try him? or is it simply a matter of "possession is 9/10ths"; we kidnapped him fair and square?

    Would that be kidnapped fair and square (none / 0) (#3)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue May 11, 2010 at 08:15:27 AM EST
    as opposed to.....???

    A crime in a US embassy (none / 0) (#4)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue May 11, 2010 at 09:22:08 AM EST

    Crimes in a US embassy is covered by US law.  

    fruit of poisoned tree (none / 0) (#5)
    by diogenes on Tue May 11, 2010 at 11:44:30 AM EST
    Although I'm not a lawyer, isn't the proper recourse to not dismiss the case (instead simply disallowing the defendant's statements which were presumably obtained by torture) and allowing the defendant the option of civil action to compensate for injuries under the alleged torture?