Jury selection begins in trial of bin Laden son-in-law

[JURIST] Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, the son-in-law of Osama Bin-Laden [JURIST news archives], went on trial Monday in New York for his role in the 9/11 attacks. Judge Lewis Kaplan of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] instructed Abu Ghaith to face prospective jurors, in order to determine whether any of the prospective jurors recognized him or had previously heard of him. Abu Ghaith, who is the highest profile al Qaeda figure [AP report] to face trial on US soil, is accused [indictment, PDF] of conspiring to kill Americans and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and faces a potential life sentence. Jury selection will continue Tuesday, and opening statements are expected later this week.

On Friday Kaplan rejected a request [JURIST report] by Abu Ghaith to delay his trial on mistaken identity grounds. Last month Abu Ghaith's lawyers were given permission to submit questions to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], the self-proclaimed mastermind of 9/11, to determine whether the defense will call him as a witness [JURIST report] during the trial. Abu Ghaith's trial was originally scheduled for September 2013 but was delayed [JURIST report] due to the US budget sequestration. Abu Ghaith pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to the charges during his March 2013 arraignment. Abu Ghaith was captured [JURIST report] that same month while traveling through Jordan to Kuwait.

 

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