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Guantanamo Detainee Transferred to New York Court

A Guantanamo detainee arrived in New York Tuesday and was arraigned in federal court on charges stemming from the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa. A New York Times reporter provides an update.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    And finally tonight, a Guantanamo detainee is brought to the United States.

    Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani arrived in New York City today. He'd been held at the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since 2006. This afternoon, he was arraigned in federal court on charges stemming from the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa.

    In Washington today, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said his trial was long overdue.

  • ROBERT GIBBS, White House Press Secretary:

    This is somebody, to keep in mind, who's been indicted with 286 separate counts relating to the death of 224 people, 12 Americans, in a crime that was committed 11 years ago. I think that the victims, the families of the victims that were involved have waited far too long for justice to be served.

  • JIM LEHRER:

    Here to tell us more is Benjamin Weiser of the New York Times.

    Ben Weiser, welcome.

  • BENJAMIN WEISER, The New York Times:

    Hi, Jim.

  • JIM LEHRER:

    Hi. You were at the courtroom for the arraignment today. What happened? Tell us what happened.

  • BENJAMIN WEISER:

    It was a packed courtroom. The defendant came in. He seemed very comfortable and relaxed. He smiled as he spoke quietly with his lawyer before the hearing began.

    It was a very brief hearing, maybe 15 minutes. He entered a plea of not guilty to the indictment and was told that he'd be back in court next week for another hearing.

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