Gitmo Detainee Acquitted on 284 Counts
Ahmed Ghailani guilty of single charge in embassy bombing case
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2010 1:20 AM CST
Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani spent 5 years in Guantanamo Bay and in secret CIA prisons.   (AP Photo/File)
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(Newser) – The first Guantanamo detainee to face a civilian trial has been acquitted on 284 of the 285 charges against him, including one murder count for each of the 224 people killed in the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The anonymous New York jury found Ahmed Ghailani guilty on one count of conspiring to destroy government buildings, for which he will face a sentence of 20 years to life, the New York Times reports.

The case—which suffered a major setback when a judge ruled that testimony from a key witness was off limits because the government learned about him during CIA interrogations at a secret prison—was seen as a test case for trying terror suspects in civilian courts, and the result is certain to fuel further debate on the policy. The trial judge told jurors they demonstrated that "American justice can be rendered calmly, deliberately and fairly by ordinary people, people who are not beholden to any government, not even ours. It can be rendered with fidelity to the Constitution."
 

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