Tripoli, 23 October 2013:
Libya is paying for the legal team defending kidnapped Libyan Abu Anas against US charges that he . . .[restrict]assisted in the 1998 Al-Qaeda attacks of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
The lawyer, Bernard V. Kleinman apparently declined to comment on reports that he had been retained by the Libyan embassy in Washington. Kleinman is a highly regarded civil rights lawyer. He is a member of team of lawyers that have been appointed to represent Guantanamo detainees in the much-criticised military courts that have been set up to try them.
In 2010 Kleinman acted on behalf of Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, the convicted bomber and mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing. Yousef was appealing for better conditions and facilities at Guantanamo, where he is serving a sentence of life plus 240 years.
Yesterday, when Abu Anas made his second appearance in the New York court before Judge Lewis Kaplan, Kleinman moved that the start of the trial be delayed for six months, while the defence team studied the 270,000 pages of evidence which chief prosecutor Nicholas Lewin told the court had been assembled.
The judge did not rule on Kleinman’s submission. Instead he heard a request from the prosecutor that Abu Anas be joined in the trial of two other suspected Al-Qaeda leaders, also charged with involvement in the East African embassy bombings. Prosecutions against Khalid Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bari were launched a year ago. The judge gave Kleinman until 20 December to respond to the prosecution’s plan.
Despite concerns from his son Abdullah Rugaii, that his health was worsening through hepatitis and a hunger strike, Abu Anas reportedly looked tired by well.