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U.S. Civilian Jury Acquits Guantanamo Detainee On Most Charges


Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, 36, a Tanzanian, was found guilty November 17 of conspiring to attack the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, 36, a Tanzanian, was found guilty November 17 of conspiring to attack the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

A U.S. civilian jury in New York City has acquitted a detainee who was held at the Guantanamo Bay military prison of most charges in connection with the Al-Qaeda plot to bomb the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

Those attacks killed 224 people, including 12 Americans.

Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, 36, a Tanzanian, was found guilty on November 17 only of conspiring to attack the U.S. embassies.

Ghailani faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison, or a maximum of life in prison, when he is sentenced in January.

Ghailani was acquitted of more than 280 murder, attempted murder, and other conspiracy charges.

Ghailani's defense lawyers had argued to the jury that Ghailani was a naive young man who was tricked by Al-Qaeda operatives into getting involved in the plot.

"This verdict is a reaffirmation that this nation's judicial system is the greatest ever devised," defense attorney Peter Quijano told reporters after the verdict.

"It is truly a system of laws and not men. We're in the shadow of the World Trade Center. This jury acquitted Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani of 284 out of 285 counts."

Ghailani was captured in 2004 in Pakistan, transferred to Guantanamo in 2006, and held until the decision last year to bring him to New York to become the first Guantanamo detainee to face a U.S. civilian trial.

compiled from agency reports

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