Vive Le Canada

Canadian's testimony not allowed in Bush assassination plot trial
Date: Monday, November 07 2005

Canadian's testimony not allowed in Bush assassination plot trial

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A Canadian man who says he was tortured into false confessions by Saudi authorities will not be allowed to testify at the trial of a man accused of joining al-Qaida and plotting to assassinate President George W. Bush, a judge ruled Monday.

Lawyers for Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, an American on trial for numerous terrorism charges, had hoped testimony from William Sampson and another man would bolster Abu Ali's contention that he was tortured into a false confession.

Abu Ali, 24, confessed to the Saudis in July 2003 that he joined al-Qaida while enrolled at a Medina university. He told them he was motivated by his hatred of the United States for its support of Israel and that al-Qaida asked him to establish a terror cell in the United States.

He now says he falsely confessed only after being whipped and beaten by the Saudi security force known as the Mubahith.

Defence lawyer Khurrum Wahid said the testimony of the two men, Briton Ron Jones and Sampson, was necessary to counter claims by Mubahith officials that they do not mistreat prisoners.

But U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee agreed with prosecutors, who argued that the only relevant question is whether Abu Ali was tortured, not whether Jones and Sampson were tortured.

Both Jones and Sampson said they falsely confessed to involvement in a 2000 car bombing in Riyadh. The Saudi government claims the car bomb stemmed from a feud among Western bootleggers; Jones and Sampson say it was the work of anti-Western fundamentalists. The two were granted amnesty and freed in 2003.

[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on November 9, 2005]

This article comes from Vive Le Canada

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