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United States v. Ghailani

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
733 F.3d 29 (2013)


Facts

Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani (defendant) and other members of al-Qaeda simultaneously detonated explosives at two United States embassies in Africa. Ghailani was indicted in 1998 on 282 criminal counts, but eluded capture for six years. Eventually, Ghailani was apprehended and turned over to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and held for questioning at a CIA site abroad. Two years later, Ghailani was transferred to the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Guantanamo), where he was detained for three additional years awaiting military-commission proceedings. After President Barack Obama discontinued trial by military commission in favor of criminal prosecution of enemy combatants in civilian courts, Ghailani filed a motion to dismiss the indictment on the ground that his being in custody for five years violated his right to a speedy trial pursuant to the Sixth Amendment. The district court denied Ghailani’s motion, and Ghailani was tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison. Ghailani appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Cabranes, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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