The Latest: Jury convicts Russian veteran in Taliban attack

AP News
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Posted: Aug 07, 2015 9:23 PM

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The latest on the federal trial for a Russian military veteran who is accused of leading a Taliban attack on U.S. forces in Afghanistan (all times local):

9:15 p.m.

A former Russian military tank commander charged with leading a Taliban attack on U.S. forces in Afghanistan has been convicted of 15 terror-related charges.

A jury heard five days of testimony and deliberated for eight hours before finding Irek Hamidullin guilty on all counts Friday night.

Prosecutors said Hamidullin is a Russian veteran of the Soviet war in Afghanistan who stayed in the country and joined a Taliban affiliate. He was accused of leading insurgents in a 2009 attack on Afghan border police and U.S. soldiers.

The case is an example of the effort by President Barack Obama's administration to show it can use criminal courts to deal with terror suspects — a move criticized by some lawmakers who believe such cases should be handled by military tribunals.

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5:15 p.m.

Jurors say they will continue deliberating until possibly 8 p.m. in the trial of an ex-Russian tank commander accused of leading a Taliban attack on U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2009.

Irek Hamidullin is being tried on terror-related charges in civilian American court. The jurors started their discussions earlier Friday.

Jurors have indicated if they do not reach a verdict by 8 p.m. Friday, they will return another day to continue their deliberations.

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1:15 p.m.

A jury has begun deliberations in the trial of a Russian military veteran charged with leading a Taliban attack on U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Irek Hamidullin is charged with 15 counts, including providing material support to terrorism and trying to destroy U.S. military aircraft.

Prosecutors say Hamidullin is a Russian veteran of the Soviet war in Afghanistan who stayed in the country and joined a Taliban affiliate. He is accused of leading insurgents in a 2009 attack on Afghan border police and U.S. soldiers.

The case is an example of the effort by President Barack Obama's administration to show it can use criminal courts to deal with terror suspects — a move criticized by some lawmakers who believe such cases should be handled by military tribunals.