No mistrial in Guantanamo detainee case

Associated Press / November 16, 2010

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NEW YORK — The judge at the first civilian trial of a Guantanamo Bay detainee rejected a defense bid for a mistrial yesterday.

The motion came in federal court in Manhattan after a juror sent a note saying she felt threatened by the other jurors. She said she was at odds with everyone else on the panel.

The note raised the specter of a hung jury. But US District Judge Lewis Kaplan told defense lawyers for Ahmed Ghailani, “Let’s just see what happens.’’

In the note, the juror said her conclusion on the charges “is not going to change.’’ And she said she felt like she was being attacked over it.

The judge called jurors into the courtroom, reminded them of his instructions on the law, and told them to continue deliberations, now in their third day.

Prosecutors allege Ghailani helped an Al Qaeda cell buy a truck and components for explosives used in a suicide bombing in his native Tanzania on Aug. 7, 1998. The attack in Dar es Salaam and a nearly simultaneous bombing in Nairobi killed 224 people, including 12 Americans.

The day before the bombings, Ghailani flew to Pakistan, prosecutors said. While on the run, he spent time in Afghanistan as a cook and bodyguard for Osama bin Laden, authorities said. He was captured in 2004 and held by the CIA at a secret overseas camp. In 2006, he was transferred to Guantanamo and held, until the decision last year to bring him to New York. top stories on Twitter

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