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Guantanamo detainee strikes plea bargain

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba — The first high-value detainee at Guantanamo Bay to strike a plea bargain with the U.S. government will serve no more than 19 years in exchange for his full cooperation, including providing testimony at the military commission trials of other detainees.

Majid Khan, a former resident of the Baltimore suburbs of Washington, pleaded guilty to five war crimes, including murder, attempted murder and spying.

Sentencing has been delayed for four years, and, if Khan fails to cooperate, he could receive up to 25 years. The deal calls for him to provide "complete and accurate information in interviews, depositions and testimony wherever and whenever requested by the prosecutors."

In court documents, Khan, a Pakistani citizen, acknowledges he flew to Pakistan after 9/11 and volunteered to work for Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the attacks.

Over the course of a year, before his capture in March 2003, Khan delivered $50,000 to al-Qaida associates to fund a hotel bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia, discussed terrorist strikes in the United States — including poisoning water reservoirs — and agreed to a suicide attack to assassinate the president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, court documents state.

Lt. Col. Jon Jackson, Khan's military counsel, said that his client had pushed for a deal for a long time and wanted a "second chance in life."

"He's remorseful; he wished he had never been involved with al-Qaida," Jackson said.

Guantanamo detainee strikes plea bargain 02/29/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 10:52pm]
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