The Defense Department announced today that charges against Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani have been referred to trial by military commission. Ghailani is alleged to have been involved in the planning and preparation of the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Aug 7, 1998.
In accordance with the Military Commissions Act of 2006, the convening authority has the sole discretion to determine what charges will be referred to trial. In exercising her independent judgment, the convening authority, Susan Crawford, referred nine charges against Ghailani. The case was referred as non-capital, meaning the maximum possible punishment is life in prison.
Ghailani is charged with the following substantive offenses: murder in violation of the Law of War, murder of protected persons, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, destruction of property in violation of the Law of War and Terrorism. In addition, he is charged with conspiracy to commit all of the above offenses. Ghailani is further charged with providing material support to terrorism.
The charges are only allegations that the accused has committed offenses under the Military Commissions Act, and the accused is presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.