Guantanamo captive in plea deal with U.S. prosecutors

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 22, 2012 9:08 PM
Guantanamo captive in plea deal with U.S. prosecutors

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An alleged al Qaeda operative from Maryland held at Guantanamo Bay has entered into a plea agreement with U.S. military prosecutors that calls for him to testify against other detainees, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

In exchange for his testimony at the trials of other detainees, Majid Kahn would receive a reduced sentence and eventual freedom, the report said, citing officials familiar with the case.

Kahn, who is charged with war crimes, could be a valuable witness in the upcoming trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-professed mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States with hijacked passenger jets.

The charges against Khan allege he took orders directly from Mohammed, often referred to in legal circles simply as "KSM." He could have received a life sentence if convicted.

The Post reported its sources would not specify how much time Khan would serve if he fulfills his obligations under the agreement. Kahn's military attorney had no comment, the article said.

Kahn is a Pakistani citizen who moved to the Baltimore area when he 16. He turns 32 on February 28 and was scheduled to be arraigned on February 29. He has been in U.S. custody for nearly nine years.

Khan has denied involvement in terrorist attacks and suggested at an administrative hearing at Guantanamo in 2007 that his knowledge of al Qaeda was limited to what he learned from watching "too much Fox News."

(Reporting By JoAnne Allen; Editing by Anthony Boadle)