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Juror in terror case tells judge she feels threatened

NEW YORK — Deliberations at the first civilian trial of a Guantanamo detainee hit a snag Monday when a juror told the judge she felt threatened by other jurors and asked to be removed from the panel.

The note raised the specter of a hung jury because the juror said she was at odds with the rest of the panel as they try to settle on a verdict on terror charges against Ahmed Ghailani in federal court in Manhattan.

"My conclusion is not going to change," she wrote without indicating her position. "I feel (I am being) attacked for my conclusion."

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan called all the jurors into the courtroom and reminded them of his instructions on the law and told them to continue working. He shot down a defense motion arguing that the discord was grounds for a mistrial.

The jury later ended its third day without a verdict and was to resume deliberating today.

Prosecutors allege Ghailani helped an al-Qaida cell buy a truck and components for explosives used in a suicide bombing in his native Tanzania on Aug. 7, 1998. The attack in Dar es Salaam and a nearly simultaneous bombing in Nairobi, Kenya, killed 224 people, including 12 Americans.

The day before the bombings, Ghailani fled by boarding a one-way flight to Pakistan under an alias, prosecutors said. While on the run, he spent time in Afghanistan as a cook and bodyguard for Osama bin Laden and later as a document forger for al-Qaida, authorities said.

He was captured in 2004 in Pakistan. In 2006, he was transferred to Guantanamo.

Deal reached: Britain's government said it has agreed to a deal with a group of 12 former Guantanamo Bay detainees who sued the United Kingdom for alleged complicity in their torture. Prime Minister David Cameron's office said details would be announced today.

Juror in terror case tells judge she feels threatened 11/15/10 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 1:21pm]
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