TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Budget woes could delay trial for bin Laden kin

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Monday, April 8, 2013, 8:39 p.m.
 

NEW YORK — A judge said he found it “stunning” to hear on Monday that federal budget woes could delay the start of a terrorism trial for Osama bin Laden's son-in-law.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan's comment was made as he set deadlines for lawyers to submit pretrial arguments regarding Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who pleaded not guilty last month to charges that he conspired to kill Americans in his role as al-Qaida's top propagandist after Sept. 11.

The al-Qaida spokesman was shown in October 2001, sitting with bin Laden and current al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri in what became a heavily watched propaganda video. Prosecutors say he called on every Muslim to join the fight against the United States, declaring that “jihad is a duty.”

Ghaith, who was brought to the United States last month, was handcuffed as he was led into a courtroom. The handcuffs were taken off before he listened through headphones to an Arabic translator.

Kaplan said he was considering starting the trial as early as September, drawing protests from defense lawyers who said the 5.1 percent across-the-board federal budget cuts known as sequestration required all public defenders to be furloughed for more than five weeks by the fall.

“It is extremely troublesome to contemplate the possibility of a case of this nature being delayed because of sequestration. Let me say only that,” the judge said, pausing before adding: “Stunning.”

The judge left open the possibility that the trial might not begin until next year.

Defense lawyers said they expected to ask the judge to toss out a 22-page statement Abu Ghaith provided after his Feb. 28 arrest in Jordan. They said they were likely to seek a change of venue, as the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan is just blocks from the World Trade Center complex.

Efforts to change the location where a trial is held or to challenge post-arrest statements have been unsuccessful in previous terrorism trials in Manhattan.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Foreign government gifts to family charity present candidacy hurdle for Hillary Clinton
  2. FCC plays net traffic cop
  3. Bomb plot trial ends in Saudi’s conviction
  4. Regulators approve tougher rules for Internet providers
  5. French bulldog joins top 10 list in U.S.
  6. Devoted California couple dies within 5 hours of each other
  7. Russian threat via cyber on the rise, says U.S. intelligence assessment
  8. Loose llamas corralled on Arizona street
  9. White House won’t snub pro-Israel lobby
  10. Vote puts federal prosecutor Lynch closer to Attorney General’s Office
  11. Impasse over funding for Department of Homeland Security likely will go to wire