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Center for Constitutional Rights Responds to Ghailani Verdict
November 17, 2010, New York – In reaction to the verdict in the trial of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, convicted of one count of conspiracy for his role in the 1998 bombings of the United States Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and acquitted of the remaining 284 counts, the Center for Constitutional Rights, which filed an amicus brief in the case, issued the following statement:
CCR questions the ability of anyone who is Muslim to receive a truly fair trial in any American judicial forum post-9/11. Both the military commission system and federal criminal trials have serious flaws. However, on balance the Ghailani verdict shows that federal criminal trials are far superior to military commissions for the simple yet fundamental reason that they prohibit evidence obtained by torture. If anyone is unsatisfied with Ghailani's acquittal on 284 counts, they should blame the CIA agents who tortured him.
CCR filed an amicus brief in support of Ghailani's motion to dismiss his indictment because he was denied his constitutional right to a speedy trial while in secret CIA detention. That brief is available here.
CCR has led the legal battle over Guantanamo for the last eight years – sending the first ever habeas attorney to the base and sending the first attorney to meet with an individual transferred from CIA “ghost detention” to Guantanamo . CCR has been responsible for organizing and coordinating more than 500 pro bono lawyers across the country to represent the men at Guantanamo , ensuring that nearly all have the option of legal representation. In addition, CCR has been working to resettle the approximately 30 men who remain at Guantánamo because they cannot return to their country of origin for fear of persecution and torture.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. Visit www.ccrjustice.org.