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Archive for Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bin Laden videomaker faces life in Gitmo trial

November 1, 2008

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— A jury of U.S. military officers at Guantanamo's second war-crimes trial reached a verdict Friday that could put Osama bin Laden's alleged "media secretary" and videomaker in prison for life.

But the decision will not be announced until Monday because Ali Hamza al-Bahlul was already back in his cell when the verdict was reached, said the judge, Air Force Col. Ronald Gregory. The judge told al-Bahlul no announcement would be made in his absence.

The nine panelists, all approved by the Pentagon to serve as jurors, deliberated for roughly four hours. The accused offered no defense after calling the proceedings a "legal farce."

The prosecution said al-Bahlul's violent propaganda videos helped inspire the Sept. 11 attacks. The Yemeni prisoner also helped prepare at least two Sept. 11 hijackers for their mission and instructed many other terrorists through videos he created as a propagandist for al-Qaida in Afghanistan, Army Maj. Daniel Cowhig said.

Al-Bahlul refused to present a defense in the weeklong trial because the judge ruled he could not represent himself.

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