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NEW YORK – A federal court jury today found former Guantánamo detainee Ahmed Ghailani guilty of conspiracy for his role in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, while acquitting him of other charges. Ghailani is the first Guantánamo detainee to be prosecuted in the federal justice system.
The American Civil Liberties Union called on the Obama administration to prosecute all terrorism suspects in the federal courts, and not to bow to pressure from within and outside Congress to prosecute them in the failed commissions system, which has been plagued with constitutional and procedural problems and has resulted in only five convictions.
The following can be attributed to Hina Shamsi, Director of the ACLU National Security Project:
"This case should put to rest any unfounded fears that our federal justice system cannot conduct fair, safe and effective trials in terrorism cases. The jury heard the evidence and delivered a verdict that – unlike military commissions trials – we can trust. We should be proud of a system that isn't set up to simply rubberstamp the government's case no matter how little reliable evidence there may be. Federal courts are not only the right place but the most effective place to prosecute terrorism suspects."