US judge dismisses charges against bin Laden

Following death of al-Qaida leader, United States judge declare 13-year court case against bin Laden, mastermind of 9/11 attacks, closed.

By REUTERS
June 18, 2011 12:32
1 minute read.
Slain al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden

Bin Laden 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)

NEW YORK - A US judge on Friday dismissed all criminal charges against Osama bin Laden following the al-Qaida leader's death, closing a 13-year court case against the mastermind of the September 11 attacks.

US District Court judge Lewis Kaplan, who presided over the bin Laden case in Manhattan federal court, issued an order called "nolle prosequi," which means do not prosecute in Latin, a typical legal move once a defendant is deceased.

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The court order came six weeks after US commandos killed bin Laden at his hideout in a compound in the military garrison town of Abbottabad, just north of Islamabad, Pakistan. US prosecutors in New York began prosecuting him in June 1998.

In a dozen indictments, prosecutors accused bin Laden of repeated actions against the United States that included prompting Somali tribesmen to attack US military personnel in Mogadishu in 1993 and the 1998 car bomb attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people.

Bin Laden was never formally charged with the Sept 11, 2001 attacks that killed almost 3,000 people and put the United States on a decade-long war footing with militants.

The judge's order was issued following a formal request by the US Justice Department to dismiss charges against bin Laden.

The request included an affidavit by a senior justice department official describing the May 1 military raid on bin Laden's hideout. The affidavit, dated June 16, said that bin Laden's death was confirmed by DNA testing. It also said one of bin Laden's wives identified the corpse as her husband's.


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