June 21, 2007
The lawyer of a Virginian Muslim, convicted of plotting to assassinate President Bush, asked the Richmond federal appeals court Thursday to toss out the conviction.
Ahmed Omar Abu Ali says that Saudi security officials tortured him into a false confession but prosecutors say that the confession was not forced.
Ali's lawyer, Joshua Draytel, told the court that prosecutors have not produced any evidence that supports Ali's confession. Draytel also says that his client was never given the constitutional right to face his accusers since his Saudi accusers testified in Riyadh while Ali was in a court in Alexandria.
Assistant U.S. attorney David Laufman said that a defendant's right to face his accusers is not absolute and that there was no question about the reliability of Abu Ali's written and videotaped confessions.
Ali was sentenced to 30 years. A ruling in the appeals case is expected in several weeks.
Draytel says that