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Guantanamo detainee gets his day in court

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Guantanamo detainee gets his day in court


The first of the Guantanamo detainees to be given a civil trial under US law has been brought to New York.

Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court to charges of conspiring in the 1998 bombings of American embassies in east Africa. In all he faces 286 counts; individual charges of murder for each of the 224 embassy victims, and charges of conspiring with Osama bin Laden to kill Americans. In a Guantanamo hearing two years ago he confessed to supplying equipment used in the Tanzanian embassy attack and apologised, but victim’s families want more: “So today I am relieved, I am looking forward to seeing some version of justice done in US federal court. It will be a kind of justice that is more recognisable to me than what was happening at Guantanamo,” aid Susan Hersch, who lost her husband in the Tanzanian attack. Ghailani claims he did not know what the equipment was to be used for. He was captured in Pakistan in 2004 by which time, say the Americans, he had risen in the ranks of al-Qaeda to be one of Osama bin Laden’s bodyguards.

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