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Detainee Acquitted in Civilian Court of All But One Charge in U.S. Embassy Bombings

Posted Nov 17, 2010 8:01 PM CDT
By Molly McDonough

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In a blow to the Obama administration Wednesday, the first former Guantanamo Bay detainee to face civilian trial was found not guilty of all but one of 285 counts he faced for his role in the 1998 bombings of U.S. Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.

The verdict puts in doubt any future civilian proceedings against Guantanamo detainees, the Associated Press reports.

Jurors deliberated five days before finding Tanzania native Ahmed Ghailani, 36, guilty of conspiracy to damage or destroy U.S. property. The bombings left 224 people dead.

Ghailani, who could still face a sentence of life in prison, was the first in what the Obama administration expected would be a series of federal prosecutions of detainees. The failure to convict along with strident political opposition to trying Guantanamo detainees on U.S. soil is expected to bolster arguments of those who maintain that future trials should be in the form of military commissions at Guantanamo Bay.

Also see:

ABAJournal.com: "Guantanamo Detainee Flown to US for Bombing Trial"

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