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Surprise Verdict: NY Jury Acquits Gitmo Detainee in All But 1 of 285 Charges

Ghailani pictured upper right hand corner

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In a surprise ending, a federal jury in New York on Wednesday acquitted the first former Guantánamo detainee to be tried in a civilian court on all but one of 285  charges of conspiracy and murder in the 1998 terrorist bombings at U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania that killed 224 people including 12 Americans, the New York Times reported.

The Times wrote that the verdict is likely to fuel the debate on whether to try detainees in civilian or military courts.

The Times reported that Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, 36, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to destroy government buildings and property. He was acquitted of six counts of conspiracy, which included allegations of conspiring to kill Americans and use weapons of mass destruction.

The one guilty count carries a sentence of 20 years to life in prison, the Times reported.

Prosecutors built a circumstantial case which included allegations that Ghailani, alleging that helped in the bombing.

Matthew Miller, a Justice Department spokesman issued a statement Wednesday night:

“We respect the jury’s verdict and are pleased that Ahmed Ghailani now faces a minimum of 20 years in prison and a potential life sentence for his role in the embassy bombings.”

To read more click here.

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