The Suspected Benghazi Mastermind, Ahmed Abu Khatallah, plead Not Guilty and is facing a life sentence. Khatallah who was captured back in 2014 is facing multiple charges. Khatallah faces 18 charges including supporting terrorists, murder, and destroying U.S. property. This is one of the few cases where a war criminal is being charged by the Civilian Courts.
Those charges include the Murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three government officials: Sean Patrick Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty.
Ahmed Abu Khatallah claims he had left the militia before the incident and at the time of the attack was solely a construction worker. A witness fingered him as someone who was coordinating the attack.
For some odd reason, previous character establishing evidence cannot be used in this case. Example of this include when he threatened to kill one of Stevens Successors, and when he told one of his associates to kill an American Teacher. But hey those incidents don’t help establish a background of hate towards Americans.
And the trial itself could have political ramifications, as it is likely to be held up as an example of the effectiveness of trying terror suspects in federal court, at a time when the Trump administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have said they should be sent instead to Guantanamo.
It could also renew focus on U.S. interrogation strategies that Abu Khattallah’s lawyers have argued were illegal. During his trans-Atlantic trip, he faced days of questioning aboard the USS New York from separate teams of American interrogators, part of a two-step process designed to obtain both national security intelligence and evidence usable in a criminal prosecution.
He was questioned for days about national security matters before being advised of his rights. A new team of FBI investigators then pressed him some more, this time to produce evidence prosecutors could present at trial. Abu Khattallah waived his rights, but his attorneys argued that the trip was so coercive, the waiver shouldn’t count.
The judge rejected that and is allowing the statements to be used as evidence.