By Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 15 October 2013:
Kidnapped Libyan Al-Qaeda suspect Nazih Al-Ruqaii, alias Abu Anas Al-Libi appeared in a New York court today, . . .[restrict]12 days after he was abducted in Libya by US forces. He pleaded not guilty to all charges that he was involved in the 1998 double bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed 224 people, including 12 Americans.
Described as looking frail and moving slowly in handcuffs, the 49-year old Libyan, speaking in Arabic through an interpreter, told Judge Lewis A. Kaplan that he wished to be known as Nazih Al-Ruqaii. The original indictment issued in 2000 named him as Abu Anas Al-Libi.
After his arrival in the US on Sunday he had reportedly spent two nights in hospital, where he was treated for Hepatitis C and swollen limbs. Military sources had said earlier today that after he was taken to the USS San Antonio for interrogation, Ruqaii had refused to eat and drink. His already poor physical condition had deteriorated quickly. He therefore needed to be taken to the United States for specialist medical treatment, not available on the warship.
After the hearing, the judge granted a prosecution request that Ruqaii be kept in detention since he was a “flight risk” and a “clear danger”.
His court-appointed attorney, David Patton issued a statement after the hearing saying: “The presumption of innocence is not a small technicality here. In a 150-page indictment, ‘Al-Libi’ is mentioned in a mere three paragraphs relating to conduct in 1993 and 1994 and nothing since. There is no allegation that he had any connection to Al-Qaida after 1994, and he is eager to move forward with the legal process in this case.”