US military commission sentences Yemeni detainee to life in prison

[JURIST] A US military commission sentenced [DOD press release] Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman al Bahlul [DOD materials] to life in prison Monday following his Friday conviction [JURIST report] for conspiring with al Qaeda, soliciting murder, and providing material support for terrorism. Al Bahlul, a 39-year old Yemeni citizen, went on trial [JURIST report] at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] late last month. The verdict in al Bahlul's case remained sealed [JURIST report] until Monday when al Bahlul was present in the courtroom. He had previously boycotted the proceedings. His case will now receive two automatic reviews by military justice bodies, after which al Bahlul may appeal to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and then to the US Supreme Court. Bloomberg has more. AFP has additional coverage.

Al Bahlul, alleged to have been Osama bin Laden's personal assistant and media secretary, was charged [charge sheet, PDF; JURIST report] in February with conspiracy, solicitation to commit murder and attacks on civilians, and providing material support for terrorism. He is accused of researching the financial impact of the 9/11 attacks and releasing the "martyr wills" of 9/11 hijackers Muhammed Atta and Ziad al Jarrah as propaganda videos. Al Bahlul is only the second detainee to go on trial at Guantanamo since the prison there opened in 2002.

 

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