Kuwait appeals court upholds acquittal of eight accused of planning attack on US base

[JURIST] A Kuwaiti appeals court on Thursday upheld the acquittal of eight men accused of attempting to form an al Qaeda cell and planning to attack a US base 70 miles south of Kuwait City. The men were tried and acquitted by a lower court [JURIST report] in May, with two of the men, Mohsen al-Fadhli and Mohammad al-Dossari, being acquitted in absentia. Al-Fadhli has been wanted by Kuwaiti security forces for the past five years, and Al-Dossari is standing trial in Lebanon on charges of terrorism. Five of the remaining defendants were released from custody following the original acquittals, while the sixth defendant is currently serving a life sentence on unrelated terror charges. The court of appeals also upheld the lower court's ruling that the men had been tortured by the Kuwaiti security service. Adel Abdulhadi, a lawyer for the acquitted men, said that the defense team was considering suing [AFP report] the interior ministry for the alleged torture. The prosecution still has the option of appealing the acquittals [Reuters report] to Kuwait's highest court, although they have not yet indicated whether they will do so.

US courts have also conducted numerous trials for those accused of plotting against the military. In February, a US federal court convicted [JURIST report] Pakistani Aafia Siddiqui [JURIST news archive] on charges that she tried to kill US personnel on a base in Afghanistan where she was being held. Last year, a federal court sentenced five men [JURIST report] to life in prison for their roles on an attempted attack on Fort Dix [official website] in New Jersey. Also lyear, Iraqi insurgent Wesam al Delama, the first insurgent tried in US federal court, was sentenced to 25 years in prison [JURIST report] for planning attacks on US troops in Iraq.

 

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