Ghailani Acquitted of All But One Charge

by Daniel Foster

Ahmed Ghailani was found not guilty of each of the over 280 counts against him — save one — in the first civilian trial of a Gitmo detainee conducted by the Obama administration.

Among the charges were one count of murder for each of the 224 people killed in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, but Ghailani was found not guilty on each. The lone guilty verdict came on a conspiracy to destroy government buildings charge, which comes with a sentence of 20 years to life.

The jury in the case deliberated for seven days, with one juror requesting to be replaced after telling a judge she disagreed with her peers and was worried she’d face their ire.

Though Ghailani had previously confessed to his role in carrying out the bombings, that confession and a crucial prosecution witness were thrown out because both stemmed from interrogations at a CIA camp.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 25, 2011.