Skip to comments.Guantanamo jury to sentence al Qaeda conspirator (Sudanese 'small potato', on to Abu Zubaydah)
Posted on 02/18/2011 1:28:44 PM PST by NormsRevenge
GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) A U.S. military jury debated the sentence on Friday for an admitted al Qaeda conspirator from Sudan who promised to help in the prosecution of other prisoners in the Guantanamo war crimes tribunals.
Prisoner Noor Uthman Muhammed pleaded guilty on Tuesday to conspiring with al Qaeda and providing material support for terrorism. The jury at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base began deliberating his sentence on Friday.
The nine members of the military jury can send him to prison for 10 to 14 years in addition to the nine he has already been held. But his sealed plea deal is thought to cap the sentence at only a few years, and he would serve more only if he breaks his promise to cooperate in other prosecutions.
Noor's case is the last one pending in the Guantanamo tribunals that have completed only six trials in nine years, but prosecutors expect to file more charges soon.
Much of this week's sentencing hearing focused on laying the groundwork to prosecute a "high-value" Guantanamo prisoner Noor was captured with, Abu Zubaydah. The U.S. military calls him a terrorist facilitator who funneled recruits to al Qaeda training camps, then supplied them with money and forged passports ..
"Noor is not a small piece of the puzzle, he's a sliver," said his defense lawyer, Marine Captain Christopher Kannady. "Very little of this evidence ever refers to or even mentions Noor."
Noor, who is about 44, admitted he gave small-arms training at the Khaldan paramilitary camp in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2000 .. filled in for the camp commander.
A prosecutor called Khaldan a criminal camp that turned young Muslim men into religious fanatics and tutored them in killing, bomb-making and conducting surveillance on embassies, military bases and airports.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Courtroom sketch of defendant Noor Uthman Muhammed, released by the U.S. Department of Defense on February 18, 2011, at the Guantanamo Bay, U.S. naval base. Uthman Muhammed pleaded guilty February 15 to charges of conspiring with al Qaeda and providing material support for terrorism. REUTERS/U.S. Army Specialist Kelly Gary/DOD/Handout
It’s about time. Years in prison without trial is a travesty regardless of who they are. They should have set up trials long ago, and the guilty should have been executed by now.