Bin Laden spokesman pleads not guilty; prosecutors say he gave 'extensive' statement

2:32 PM, Mar 8, 2013   |    comments
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NEW YORK  --  Prosecutors say Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, who's now in custody in New York, gave an "extensive" statement after his arrest last week. But they're not saying what was in the statement, which they say totaled 22 pages.

A law enforcement official with knowledge of the case says Sulaiman Abu Ghaith  initially agreed to be interviewed without an attorney at the FBI office in lower Manhattan immediately after he arrived a week ago. Later in the day, they say, he requested a lawyer and was interviewed with the lawyer present.

Abu Ghaith had been arrested last week in Jordan. Today, he was in a New York courtroom, where he entered a plea of not guilty to plotting against Americans before and immediately after the 9/11 attacks in his role as al-Qaida's top spokesman.

There was no request for bail, and none was granted. The judge says he will set a court date next month. Prosecutors say a trial will last about three weeks.

The Obama administration has sought to charge senior al-Qaida suspects in federal courts instead of at military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. But Republicans in Congress have said they don't want high-threat terror suspects brought into the United States.

The Associated Press

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