Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

FOCUS

Many Turks angry over Syrian refugee situation

Read more

ENCORE!

Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday : The Best of the Bard

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

The Tour de France, a PR machine

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Coverage of the third plane crash in one week - from France, Algeria and Burkina Faso

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Coverage of the plane crash that took 116 lives - almost half of them French

Read more

  • Live: ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Wreckage of Algeria plane found in Mali

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

Americas

Osama bin Laden’s former cook sentenced to 14 years

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-12

Ibrahim al-Qosi, a former cook for al Qaeda figurehead Osama Bin Laden who has spent more than eight years detained in Guantanamo Bay, was handed a 14-year sentence on Wednesday.

AFP - Osama Bin Laden's former cook was sentenced to 14 years in prison Wednesday in the first prison term handed down by a Guantanamo Bay court since President Barack Obama took office.
   
But Ibrahim al-Qosi has already agreed a plea deal with prosecutors, the details of which remain secret, raising the possibility that he could serve a much shorter sentence, or be repatriated to Sudan.
   
The 10-member jury deliberated for just over an hour before handing down the sentence against the 51-year-old Qosi, who pled guilty in July to material support to terrorism.
   
The jurors were instructed to keep the sentence within a 12-15 year range, and told that the eight and a half years Qosi has spent at Guantanamo could be weighed during their deliberations, but would not count towards the final sentence.
   
"The prosecution and defense agreed on a range between 12 and 15 years. The jury will be instructed by the judge to stay in this range," David Iglesias, a spokesman for the military tribunals, told AFP.
   
In a second courtroom here Wednesday, prosecutors and defense attorneys for a second detainee, Canadian Omar Khadr, finished jury selection ahead of his war crimes trial.
   
Seven military officers will hear evidence in the case against Khadr, who was just 15 when he was captured in Afghanistan, and is accused of throwing a grenade during a firefight that killed US Army medic in July 2002.
   
His lawyers have criticized the proceedings against him as the first prosecution of a child soldier "in modern history."
   
Qosi's civilian lawyer Wednesday called for leniency in sentencing against him client, citing the conditions at Guantanamo.
   
"We are not asking you to send him home now or to declare him innocent. He pleaded guilty," Reichler said.
   
Guantanamo "is not like a prison in the United States. It's been eight and a half years without hearing, without seeing his wife, his mother, his father," Reichler added.
   
The sentencing phase of the trial comes despite the plea agreement between Qosi and government lawyers, which includes an agreed-upon sentence that remains secret.
   
Scant details of the agreement emerged Tuesday, when proceedings were temporarily suspended over questions about whether promises to Qosi could be kept.
   
The agreement reportedly stipulates that Qosi can serve out his eventual sentence in Guantanamo's Camp 4, where inmates live communally, but prison rules require convicted detainees to be isolated from other prisoners.
   
Military judge Nancy Paul called the discrepancy "troubling," and pointed out that the Pentagon official responsible for overseeing the trials is supposed to coordinate the conditions of a plea deal with prison authorities.
   
But she said the failure to do so ahead of time "did not invalidate the pre-trial agreement."
   
"Confinement will be deferred for 60 days. There is still no guarantee but we have 60 days to work this issue," she said.
   
In the meantime, she strongly recommended that Qosi be housed in Camp 4 since it was "a factor in Mr. al-Qosi's will to plead guilty."
   
The commander of the joint task force that runs the prison, Jeffrey Haberson, told reporters: "Our policy right now, the DOD (Department of Defense) policy, is to keep convicted individuals physically separated from general population of detainees."
   
Thus far, lawyers have not raised the possibility of repatriating Qosi, who was arrested in Pakistan in December 2001.
   
He left his native Sudan in 1996 to join Bin Laden in Afghanistan and eventually became chef, assistant and occasional driver to the Al-Qaeda leader.

 

Date created : 2010-08-12

  • CUBA

    Canadian Guantanamo inmate rejects US plea deal

    Read more

  • USA

    Bush 'knew Guantanamo prisoners were innocent', says Powell aide

    Read more

COMMENT(S)