US military jury convicts Yemeni in 2nd Guantanamo war crimes trial

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) -- A military jury has convicted an aide to Osama bin Laden of three terrorism-related charges today in the second war crimes trial at Guantanamo.

Ali Hamza al-Bahlul had refused to defend himself and sat calmly at the defense table as the verdict was read. The conviction on 35 counts of conspiracy, solicitation to commit murder and providing material support to terrorism could bring the 39-year-old native of Yemen a sentence of life in prison.

Sentencing is to follow a post-trial hearing that includes testimony from the father of a sailor killed in the 2000 attack on the USS Cole. The attack was featured in a video that the military says al-Bahlul produced to train and inspire al-Qaida terrorists in Afghanistan.

In a pretrial hearing, al-Bahlul called the military tribunal a "legal farce" and refused to mount a defense. His Pentagon-appointed lawyer stayed silent during the trial, refusing to answer questions from the judge.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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