Washington: Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the alleged suspect of the deadly attacks on a US diplomatic facility in Libyan city of Benghazi in 2012, entered a not guilty plea in federal court in Washington Saturday.
Prosecutors also unveiled a one- count grand jury indictment charging him with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism resulting in death. The crime is punishable by up to life in prison, or death, Xinhua quoted court sources as saying.
The suspect said little during his brief appearance before a federal magistrate, said officials close to the sources. He arrived in Washington Saturday morning after being captured in Libya almost two weeks ago and being transported here via a US Navy ship.
Local law experts noted that now that Abu Khatallah has arrived in the US, he will face the full weight of justice system of the country.
Khatallah is charged with "conspiracy to provide material support and resources to terrorists, knowing and intending that these would be used in preparation for and in carrying out a killing in the course of an attack on a federal facility, and the offense resulted in death". according to a court statement.
An earlier criminal complaint in July 2013 said the FBI believed it had evidence to charge him with murder and firing a weapon at the scene of the Benghazi attacks. Those additional charges, if formally added, could bring the death penalty.
he attacks, which killed four Americans, including US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, stirred up a political dispute in the US because some Republican lawmakers claim the Obama administration tried to mislead the public about them and should have done more to prevent them.