U.S. reportedly plea bargaining with terror suspect

Feb. 28, 2012 at 2:24 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. prosecutors have turned to an old strategy with terrorist detainees by offering plea bargains in exchange for testimony, sources tell The Miami Herald.

Majid Khan, 32, who spent his teenage years in the Baltimore area and returned to Pakistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, is expected to plead guilty Wednesday, the newspaper said. Khan allegedly volunteered for an attempt to kill former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and acted as a courier to carry money to Thailand for a deadly bombing at the Marriott Hotel in Bangkok in 2003.

Sources told the Herald Khan has agreed to testify at military commissions in exchange for allowing him to return to Pakistan.

Joshua Dratel, who represented Australian detainee David Hicks, said military prosecutors "didn't have a clue" about plea bargaining when they allowed Hicks to return to Australia in 2007. Dratel said Hicks could have provided useful information.

Dratel said prosecutors are now going at it the "traditional" way: "Get cooperators, move up the ladder and look for ways to neutralize defense arguments by creating different independent avenues of presenting the same evidence."

Khan was living legally with his parents in Baltimore when he returned to Pakistan against their wishes. President George W. Bush announced his arrest in 2006.

Khan's defense lawyers argued in 2007 he was subjected to torture in a secret CIA prison.

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