Tag: Ahmed Ghailani

Judge Upholds Ahmed Ghailani's Terror Conviction

Judge Lewis Kaplan has issued a 56 page opinion upholding the conviction of Ahmed Ghailani for the 1988 U.S. Embassy bombings.

From the ruling (available on PACER): Judge Kaplan notes that Ghailani's defense from the beginning "was the contention that he was an innocent dupe – that is, that he innocently performed benign acts which, with the benefit of hindsight, turned out to have furthered plans of others to bomb the embassies." He quotes the defense stating to the jury:

“One question. I'll make this as easy for you today as possible because there is one question for you to decide. Did he know? After four weeks of trial, dozens of witnesses, hundreds of exhibits, 200-some charges, I tell you, ladies and gentlemen, there is one question: Did he know and did he know beyond a reasonable doubt? And based on the facts and the law, the answer to that one question simply is no. Ahmed did not know.”


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NY Judge Refuses to Dismiss Ahmed Ghailani Case

A federal judge in New York has denied former Guantanamo detainee Ahmed Ghailani's motion to dismiss and ruled the case can proceed to trial in federal criminal court. The opinion is here.

Ghailani is charged with complicity in the 1998 East Africa Embassy bombings. He was captured in 2004, transferred to a CIA secret prison overseas, where he allegedly was tortured. He was then transferred to Guantanamo, where he stayed for almost three years. In 2009, he was charged in federal court in New York and transferred. He argued that the five years he was held in custody violated his right to a speedy trial. [More...]

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Federal Judge Upholds Visual Cavity Searches of al Qaida Defendant

As we wrote last month, Ahmed Ghailani, who was moved from Guantanamo to New York to face trial on charges related to the 1988 U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa, has refused to attend court because he objects to the visual cavity searches of his rectum. The Court's May 4 ruling is here.

After hearing expert testimony on how the procedure causes Ghailani PTSD flashbacks and renders him unable to assist in his defense, in violation of the Sixth Amendment, the Judge has now issued another order denying relief to Ghailani (available here.) It describes the visual cavity search and the digital cavity search, probably with more detail than you care to know. [More...]

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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...]

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U.S. Won't Seek Death Penalty Against Embassy Bombing Defendant

Former Guantanamo detainee Ahmed Ghailani, who was transferred to New York for trial on conspiracy charges involving the 1998 bombings of U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, won't face the death penalty. Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement through a DOJ spokesman yesterday:

“Ahmed Ghailani is on trial for the murder of 224 people, and we are committed to bringing him to justice for his alleged crimes. Other defendants in the embassy bombings case have either already received life sentences or will not be subject to the death penalty because the United States agreed not to seek it as a condition of their extradition. Given those circumstances and other factors in this case, the attorney general authorized the U.S. attorney to seek a life sentence.”


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Gitmo Detainee To Be Tried in Federal Criminal Court

A little bit of progress. President Obama will announce tomorrow that one of the Guantanamo detainees will be transferred to New York for trial in U.S. District Court:

Ahmed Ghailani, suspected of taking part in al Qaeda plots to bomb U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania among other crimes, would be the first former detainee at the detention center to face trial in the United States.

They tried and convicted Jose Padilla in federal criminal court. While he was held at a miltary brig rather than Gitmo, it's been done before and can and should be done again when criminal charges are warranted. We need to keep public pressure on the President. It seems to be having an effect.

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