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Suspect in 1998 US embassy attacks pleads not guilty

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 - 1:48pm IST | Agency: IANS

Al Qaeda suspect Abu Anas al-Libi has pleaded not guilty in a US court for participating in the 1998 bomb attacks at the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. A defence attorney entered the plea on behalf of al-Libi, whose real name is Nazih Abdul Hamed al-Ruqai.

Al-Libi, 49, was transported to New York last weekend after he was captured Oct 5 in Libya in a US special forces operation and then interrogated on board the navy ship USS San Antonio. The first appearance of al-Libi lasted for about 10 minutes, during which the charges against him were read.

During the session, al-Libi said he had no way to pay for an attorney, whereupon a public defender was assigned to him. He was handcuffed, dressed in a grey jersey and white pants and wearing a long beard. He appeared calm during the court session and also requested for the help of a translator.

Prosecutors said they would not ask for the death penalty and Judge Lewis Kaplan set Oct 22 as the date for the next hearing. The prosecution alleged that al-Libi took part in organising Al Qaeda's Aug 7, 1998, bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in which 229 people were killed.

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