US May Keep Gitmo Detainee Even If Acquitted

The US government told the accused planner of the USS Cole bombing he may be detained indefinitely even if he is found not guilty

Even if he is found not guilty and acquitted of his charges, Abd al-Rahim al Nashiri, the Guantanamo detainee accused of planning the 2000 attack on the USS Cole, may still be imprisoned for the rest of his life, according to US government documents released Wednesday.

Al-Nashiri is set to be arraigned next week at Guantanamo Bay on charges that he helped plan the bombing of a US warship in port in Yemen in 2000, an attack which killed 17 people and wounded 37 others. If found guilty, he could be executed.

His defense attorneys filed an order two weeks ago demanding that the government clarify whether it intends to continue holding al-Nashiri in military detention in the case he is found not guilty. Because al-Nashiri is being held in military detention, the government claims, he can be held for “the duration of hostilities,” regardless of his verdict.

Al-Nashiri was exposed to water-boarding and other forms of torture, including mock executions involving a gun and a power drill. In his testimony to the Combatant Status Review Hearing in Guantanamo he claimed, “From the time I was arrested five years ago, they have been torturing me.”

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Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.