Guantanamo detainee Ahmed Ghailani arrives in New York

June 9th, 2009 - 6:50 pm ICT by John Le Fevre  

Ahmed Ghailani Tanzanian born Guantanamo Bay detainee Ahmed Ghailani has been transferred to the United States to stand trial for the 1998 US embassy bombings in East Africa.

Ghailani was taken to Guantanamo Bay with other “high value” detainees in late 2006 and is the first of the detainees to be taken to the US for trial in a US civilian court as the Obama administration struggles to find a way to make good its election promise to close Guantanamo Bay within a year of taking office.

Congress has rejected an administration request for funding to close down Guantanamo Bay, amid widespread opposition to bringing detainees on to the US mainland.

US Attorney General Eric Holder said, “Ghailani is being held accountable for his alleged role in the bombing of US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and the murder of 224 people,”

The Justice Department said Ghailani faced 286 charges including conspiring with Osama bin Laden and other members of al-Qaeda to kill Americans anywhere in the world, and murder charges for each of the victims of August 7, 1998.

According to the transcript of a closed-door hearing in March 2007, Mr Ghailani admitted delivering explosives used to blow up the US embassy in the Tanzanian city of Dar Es Salaam.

However, he told the hearing he did not know about the attack beforehand and apologized to the US government and the victims’ families.

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