November 17, 2010

Civilian Trials for Detainees Face Major Test

CNN reports that Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, standing trial in civilian court on 285 counts of conspiracy and terrorism-related charges in connection to the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, "was acquitted Wednesday of all but one count of conspiracy-related charges, in a landmark civilian trial involving the first Guantanamo detainee to be tried in civilian court."

"The trial had been widely considered a testing ground for the Obama administration, which has said that it could try some terrorism suspects outside military tribunals and in civilian courts."

The Washington Post notes the verdict was "a blow to administration officials, who were quietly confident that Ghailani would be found guilty on all charges. For some, a conviction on only one count amounted to a close call. Had he been cleared of all charges, the administration would probably have been forced to take Ghailani back into military custody rather than see him released."


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