First US trial of former Gitmo detainee begins

The first US-based trial of a former Guantanamo Bay detainee began Monday with jury selection at a federal courthouse in New York.

Updated: Sep 28, 2010, 10:38 AM IST

Washington: The first US-based trial of a former Guantanamo Bay detainee began Monday with jury selection at a federal courthouse in New York.

Ahmed Ghailani, a Tanzanian charged in connection with the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of 224 people, including 12 US citizens.
The court case comes as US President Barack Obama struggles with a pledge to close the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison facility in Cuba and bring terrorism suspects into the regular court process.

Ghailani`s trial could influence the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sep 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
Mohammed was set to face charges in the southern district of New York court where Ghailani now faces trial, but the case was postponed amid an uproar by local New York officials and conservative US politicians.

Ghailani has denied belonging to the Al Qaeda terrorist network blamed for the embassy bombings and Sep 11 attacks.

IANS