Terrorism Trials: Civilian Court

Judge Denies Abu Khattala Request to be Returned to Libya and Spared Death Penalty

By Cody M. Poplin
Wednesday, February 3, 2016, 5:03 PM

In a 20-page opinion, D.C. District Judge Christopher R. Cooper yesterday denied a request by Ahmed Abu Khattala to return to Libya and be spared the death penalty. Khatalla, who stands accused of orchestrating and leading the 2012 attacks on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, claims that his rights to due process were violated upon his arrest and subsequent 13 day detainment without counsel aboard a U.S. Navy ship. In October 2014, he pleaded not guilty to an 18-count indictment that included charges of murder, conspiracy, and destroying a U.S. facility.

The Washington Post notes that in his opinion, Judge Cooper did not "rule on whether the government's conduct 'outrageously violated' [Khatalla's] constitutional rights, the United Nations Charter, Hague Convention or the Posse Comitatus Act." Instead, he "said that the proper remedy of any such violation would be exclusion of evidence obtained by unconstitutional means or criminal prosecution of violations of the posse comitatus doctrine."

You can read the opinion here or below: