[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Fri Oct 3 21:56:57 CDT 2008
No death penalty for Tanzania embassy bomb suspect
A Pentagon official approved murder and terrorism charges on Friday
against a Guantanamo captive suspected in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing in
Tanzania but ruled out the death penalty in his war crimes trial.
The action cleared the way for Tanzanian prisoner Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani
to be tried in the special military tribunal at the U.S. naval base in
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Prosecutors filed the charges in March and asked to execute Ghailani if he
were convicted of supplying equipment and other support for the bombing at
the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam on Aug. 7, 1998.
Eleven people were killed and at least 85 were wounded in the bombing. A
nearly simultaneous bombing in Kenya killed 213 people.
The Pentagon appointee overseeing the Guantanamo tribunals, Susan
Crawford, signed off on all 9 charges against Ghailani, but decided,
without explanation, that it would not be tried as a capital case. That
means the maximum punishment on conviction would be life in prison, the
Pentagon said in an announcement on Friday.
Ghailani is charged with murder, attacking civilians and civilian objects,
intentionally causing serious bodily injury, destroying property,
terrorism and providing material support to terrorism, all in violation of
the laws of war.
At a 2007 hearing to determine that he was an "enemy combatant," Ghailani
confessed and apologized for supplying equipment used in the Tanzania
bombing but said he did not know the supplies would be used to attack the
embassy, according to military transcripts.
He told the Guantanamo review panel he bought the TNT used in the bombing,
purchased a cell phone used by another person involved in the attack and
was present when a 3rd person bought a truck used in the attack, the
U.S. military prosecutors also accuse him of scouting the embassy, meeting
with co-conspirators in Nairobi and fleeing to Pakistan a day before the
Since the United States began sending suspected al Qaeda and Taliban
captives to Guantanamo in 2002, only 2 trials have been completed and
neither involved the death penalty.
5 prisoners accused of plotting the Sept. 11 hijacked plane attacks in
2001 that prompted the Bush administration's war on terrorism could face
execution if convicted at their pending trial.
Prosecutors also sought the death penalty against the accused mastermind
of the attack on the warship USS Cole, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, but
Crawford has yet to sign off on that request. An explosives-laden boat
attacked the ship in Yemen in 2000, killing 17 U.S. sailors.
Death penalty stand limited to our own
AUSTRALIA will not help people facing the death penalty other than its own
citizens, Attorney-General Robert McClelland said yesterday.
Mr McClelland had been asked whether, as a member of a party that opposed
capital punishment, he was disappointed that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had
said the Bali bombers "deserve the justice that will be delivered to
Mr McClelland said the Labor Party continued to oppose the death penalty.
"The point being made by the Prime Minister is that while we have been,
and will continue to be, vigorous advocates in respect to those
Australians who are sentenced to capital punishment, that is the extent of
Asked if this meant there was one rule for Australians and another for the
rest of South-East Asia, he said: "We will be advocates in respect to
those Australians who are sentenced to capital punishment. We won't be
advocates in respect to other individuals."
Mr McClelland was speaking at a Law Institute of Victoria lunch in
On Wednesday, Mr Rudd responded to public comments from Bali bomber Amrozi
that there would be revenge if he was executed. Mr Rudd said then: "They
deserve the justice that will be delivered to them. They are murderers,
they are mass murderers and they are also cowards."
Also at yesterday's lunch was Robert Stary, solicitor for two of the Bali
nine facing execution in Indonesia over drug offences.
Mr Stary told The Age: "When Mr Rudd says he will lose no sleep over the
execution of the Bali bombers, in fact he puts in jeopardy the three
members of the Bali nine who are subject to the death penalty.
"He devalues his so-called opposition by saying on the one hand it's OK
for Indonesian people on death row, but it's not OK for Australians."
Barrister Julian McMahon said the legal team had been very appreciative of
the Government's strong support in the battle to save the Australians'
lives. He said Mr Rudd had in the past taken a principled and absolute
stand against the death penalty and this needed to continue.
Mr Rudd said yesterday he did not mean to endorse the death penalty. "I
went on to say that (the Bali bombers) deserve the justice that they will
get, by which I mean consistent with the Indonesian judicial system."
- Indonesia is under renewed pressure to blacklist Jemaah Islamiah as a
terrorist group, after the 3 Bali bombers on death-row vowed that others
would take revenge if they were executed.
Regional security expert Rohan Gunaratna said yesterday that the bombers'
comments had undoubtedly galvanised the determination of JI members.
(source: The Age)
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