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Benghazi Defendant Convicted Of Terrorism Charges

Nov 29, 2017
Originally published on November 29, 2017 5:58 am
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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

President Obama made a promise after an attack on U.S. diplomats in 2012 in Benghazi, Libya.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BARACK OBAMA: We will not waiver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And, make no mistake, justice will be done.

INSKEEP: Yesterday the first man to face trial in this case was convicted on terrorism charges, but a federal jury in Washington found him not guilty of murder. Here's NPR's Ryan Lucas.

RYAN LUCAS, BYLINE: Ahmed Abu Khattala faced a total of 18 counts over the assault in Benghazi. After a nearly two-month trial and five days of deliberations, the jury acquitted him on 14 of them including the most significant ones, the murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. But the jury found Abu Khattala guilty on terrorism charges and other offenses. Despite the mixed verdict, Abu Khattala faces life in prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set. The defense is likely to appeal the verdict. They also have filed a motion for a mistrial related to what the defense attorneys say were prejudicial arguments prosecutors made during the proceedings. A second Libyan man who was captured by U.S. forces is now in Washington, D.C. He will face trial in connection with the deadly 2012 attack as well. Ryan Lucas, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.