US judge upholds conviction of bin Laden aide

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November 3, 2005 05:24
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An American judge upheld the conviction of an aide to Osama bin Laden in the bombings of two US embassies in Africa despite government "inaction, incompetence and stonewalling" that he said had seriously jeopardized its case. US District Judge Kevin Duffy wrote on Wednesday that there were "grave concerns" that Wadih El-Hage should be retried because the US Marshals Service suppressed evidence during El-Hage's 2001 conspiracy trial. However, Duffy denied El-Hage a new trial, saying that none of the undisclosed material was powerful enough to displace the government's other evidence of El-Hage's guilt. The judge said the Marshals Service and the Department of Justice's Office of Enforcement Operations jeopardized El-Hage's conviction "through a mixture of inaction, incompetence and stonewalling to cover up their mistakes."

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