The defendant, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, was scheduled to begin trial on Wednesday in Federal District Court on charges he conspired in the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The attacks, orchestrated by Al Qaeda, killed 224 people....
Mr. Ghailani’s lawyers say that he was tortured while in C.I.A. custody, and argued that any statements he made or evidence derived from those statements was tainted and should be inadmissible.
Prosecutors say the witness, Hussein Abebe, sold Mr. Ghailani the TNT that was used to blow up the Embassy in Dar es Salaam. They say Mr. Abebe agreed voluntarily to testify against Mr. Ghailani, and that his decision to cooperate was only remotely linked with the interrogation.
But in a three-page ruling, Judge Kaplan wrote that “the government has failed to prove that Abebe’s testimony is sufficiently attenuated from Ghailani’s coerced statements to permit its receipt in evidence.”Did the judge — Lewis A. Kaplan — have much or any choice, applying the precedents about excluding evidence? If not — and I'm thinking not — then this all had to have been anticipated when the decision was made to forgo military trials. I want to hear President Obama explain his decision and the judge's decision to the American people. He must be capable of doing that.