(NEW YORK) -- The first civilian trial for a detainee once held in the U.S. facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba got underway Tuesday in a New York City courtroom.
Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani is alleged to have helped build the bombs that exploded at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August of 1998. A dozen Americans were among the 224 people killed in the blasts that were allegedly plotted by al-Qaida.
Ghailani’s trial was supposed to have started last week, but the judge wouldn't allow the prosecution’s star witness to testify. The defense successfully argued the witness’ testimony against Ghailani was inadmissible because the information was coerced out of him during what lawyers alleged were harsh interrogation techniques employed overseas.
The government decided to move ahead with the trial without calling upon the witness. Ghailani contends he’s innocent and that he didn’t know what he was delivering would be used to bomb the embassies.
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