Go to contents

An American Al-Qaeda Prisoner under Preliminary Trial in the Federal Court

An American Al-Qaeda Prisoner under Preliminary Trial in the Federal Court

Posted January. 25, 2002 09:23,   


American Al-Qaeda prisoner, John Walker Lindh (20) has arrived in America to stand trial.

Walker, suspected of 4 kinds of crimes, such as conspiring to kill Americans abroad and providing support to Al-Qaeda, had departed from the U.S.-controlled base in Kandahar in the south of Afghanistan under heavy security by C17 transport plane on the 22nd. Immediately after arriving at Washington Dulles International Airport on the evening of the 23rd, he was thrown in jail in Alexandria, Virginia.

Walker appeared in the Alexandria federal courthouse and stood before Magistrate Judge Curtis Sewell for preliminary trial.

Walker will plead his guilt or innocence in the preliminary trial. The trial date will be set after the grand jury decides whether he is to be indicted formally or not. Legal experts anticipate that the trial for Walker will begin in the fall.

On the 24th, ABC News reported that the defense team, composed of 4 former prosecutors, including former federal prosecutor from the state of Virginia, will open the oral proceedings arguing that Walker`s statements to the FBI are inadmissible to the court because an attorney was not present when Walker made his statements in the U.S.-controlled base and Walker`s health was in an extremely bad condition.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said, "Walker who arrived on the 24th can receive a fair trial now. Although he is suspected of conspiring in a terrible incident, as an American he has the right to a fair trial."

Walker escaped death penalty because the crimes committed in his case can only receive a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Mi-Kyung Jung mickey@donga.com