NEW YORK (AP) – An Egyptian lawyer’s statements under questioning by British authorities about the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa will be allowed as evidence at a U.S. trial that could include a co-defendant who was captured this month in Libya, a judge ruled Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan rejected arguments that alleged al-Qaida operative Adel Abdel Bary was under duress when British detectives interrogated him at a London police station in September 1998. Kaplan also is considering a request to put Abdel Bary on trial with Abu Anas al-Libi, who was snatched off the streets of Tripoli and brought to the New York to face terrorism charges in the embassy bombing case.
Abdel Bary and another defendant, Khaled al-Fawwaz, were extradited from Great Britain to New York last year. Prosecutors allege Abdel Bary coordinated communications among al-Qaida and spread word of Osama bin Laden’s fatwahs.
Lawyers for Abdel Bary had argued that unspecified statements should be kept out the case because he was questioned against his will and never read the U.S. Miranda warning about his right to remain silent.
In a decision filed in federal court in Manhattan, Kaplan found that the questioning wasn’t the result of a joint operation with U.S. authorities, so Miranda didn’t apply. He also noted that Abdel had a lawyer in the room, was told he didn’t have to answer and should have understood his rights better than most people because he had practiced law in Egypt.
Abdel Bary “is a well-educated and intelligent individual,” Kaplan wrote. The judge added: “The conditions of Mr. Abdel Bary’s interrogation were acceptable and not coercive.”
The motion to suppress the statements also claimed that the U.S. indictment had infringed on Abdel Bary’s religious freedoms by calling him a follower of an extremist version of Islam. The government, it said, “does not have the right to decide what forms of religion are `normal’ and `extreme'” _ an argument that the judge called unpersuasive.
An attorney for Abdel Bary declined to comment Wednesday.
Abdel Bary, al-Fawwaz and al-Libi, also known as Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, all have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges in the twin 1998 bombings at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people, including a dozen Americans. A trial is not expected until late next year.
The prosecution in the United States is in keeping with a disputed policy of bringing suspected al-Qaida sympathizers and operatives to civilian courts rather than military tribunals. Several Republicans in Congress had demanded that al-Libi be sent to Guantanamo for indefinite interrogation.
New York juries have convicted five others in the embassy attacks.
Associated Press writer Larry Neumeister contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- 2016 college football rivalry games you simply can't miss
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- Diet, exercise and aspirin: 3 tools to fight colon cancer
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl