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Homeland Security

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Release

  No. 1028-08
IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 19, 2008

Charges Referred Against One Detainee, Charges Dismissed Against Another


Today the Convening Authority, Office of Military Commissions, referred charges to trial by military commission against 'Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri of Saudi Arabia.
Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri is charged with participating in the planning and preparation for the attack on the USS Cole in the Port of Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 12, 2000. The attack killed 17 sailors, wounded 47 sailors, and severely damaged the ship. The Convening Authority directed that the charges be tried as a capital case, meaning that the accused may face the possibility of being sentenced to death, if convicted. 
Charges are only allegations that an accused has committed offenses under the Military Commission Act. The accused remains innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. 
The Convening Authority also dismissed without prejudice the pending charges against another detainee, Abdul Ghani. Because the charges were dismissed without prejudice, the government has the option of charging Ghani at a later date.

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