US: Jury deliberates at dirty bomb suspect trial

August 16, 2007 04:08


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Jurors began deliberations after three months of testimony in the trial of Jose Padilla and two co-defendants on charges of operating a support cell for Islamic terrorists, including al-Qaida. Padilla, a US citizen, was held for three and a half years as an enemy combatant following his May 2002 arrest as authorities initially claimed he was part of an al-Qaida plot to set off a radioactive "dirty bomb" in a US city. He was added in late 2005 to an existing terrorism support indictment amid a legal battle over US President George W. Bush's authority to continue detaining him without charge. The "dirty bomb" allegations disappeared and are not included in the trial, in part because Padilla was never provided a lawyer or read his legal rights when he was interrogated while in US military custody.

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