Saudi man in Guantanamo pleads guilty, could return home to jail
20 February 2014, 23:51
A Saudi man pleaded guilty to contributing to planned terrorist attacks, and could eventually be released from the Guantanamo Bay military prison to finish his sentence in Saudi Arabia, according to the US military prosecutor on Thursday.
Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Haza al-Darbi, 39, who has been held at Guantanamo since 2002, pleaded guilty to charges of terrorism, chief prosecutor Army Brigadier General Mark Martins said.
The US charged him in 2008 with terrorism, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects and hazarding a vessel, according to the Miami Herald newspaper that first reported the plea agreement. None of the charges calls for the death penalty.
Prosecutors said al-Darbi served as a facilitator for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, buying and sailing boats and other material intended for suicide bombings of oil tankers in Southwest Asian waters.
One of the attacks he is accused of - the 2002 bombing of the French oil tanker MV Limburg - occurred after his arrest, Martins noted. One crew member from Bulgaria was killed in that attack.
Martins indicated that sentencing will occur in about three and a half years, and could add another 9 to 15 years in jail for al-Darbi back in Saudi Arabia.
In the meantime, al-Darbi will likely be expected to serve as a witness in the ongoing death-penalty trial of Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, who is accused in the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen that killed 17 US sailors, according to the Miami Herald report.
Voice of Russia, dpa
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