Abu Anas al-Liby pled not guilty today in his first courtroom appearance since being kidnapped by US troops earlier this month in a bizarre snatch and grab raid in the Libyan capital city of Tripoli.
US officials have accused Liby of involvement in the 1998 US embassy bombing in Kenya, though his wife insisted he couldn’t possibly have been involved because he was in London, at the time, and under constant surveillance.
The “evidence” against Liby, such as it is, is expected to center on testimony from paid informants who claim to be former al-Qaeda members, though the Justice Department refused to say if those informants were even available to testify.
Since his capture in the military offensive, Liby had been held on a US Navy ship with no access to attorneys. Officials said that the reason he was finally brought ashore to a court was that his “pre-existing medical conditions” meant they couldn’t keep him at sea any longer.
The judge ruled out granting Liby bail, terming him a “flight risk.” The Libyan government has criticized his capture as a “kidnapping” and a violation of Libyan sovereignty.
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