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Posted On: 29 October 2009 10:50 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:10 pm

Lawyers want al-Marri to be freed

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A Qatar citizen, held in the US without charge for nearly six years, appeared in court yesterday for a sentencing hearing. Ali al-Marri, who was the last remaining ‘enemy combatant’ held on US soil, faces a maximum of 15 years in jail after admitting in April that he conspired to provide material support to a foreign organisation. His lawyers have argued that the eight years he has already served in isolation and the harsh conditions under which he lived were more than sufficient punishment for his crimes. Prosecutors are pushing for him to serve another 15 years behind bars. “The fact that (al-Marri) was unable to conduct an operation within the US should not be a factor that reduces his sentence,” they wrote in court filings. Marri entered the US on September 10, 2001 with his wife and children, ostensibly to study at an Illinois university. The next day Al Qaeda launched its September 11 attacks. Marri was arrested in Illinois in December 2001 and eventually charged with credit card fraud. The 44-year-old man was declared an “enemy combatant” in 2003 and spent nearly six years in isolation in a military brig in South Carolina without charge. His case was transferred to civil court on February 26. - AFP