The charges against a Saudi detainee at Guantanamo Bay prison for allegedly bombing a French oil tanker ship in Yemen, have been referred to a military commission, according to US sources.
Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Haza Al-Darbi, 39, has been held at the US prison in Cuba since 2002 for allegedly planning and supporting the commission of the attack against the ship MV Limburg. He would be arraigned in 30 days, reports said.
The US Defense Department announced on Thursday that the Convening Authority of the US Office of Military Commissions, referred the charges to a military commission in the case of “United States v. Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Haza Al-Darbi.”
The referred charges allege, among other things, that Al-Darbi planned, aided and abetted those carrying out a suicide bombing of the civilian oil tanker near Al-Mukallah in Yemen on Oct. 6, 2002.
During that attack, one civilian Bulgarian mariner was killed and 12 others injured. The Pentagon has decided to “go forward” with the charges against Al-Darbi.
Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, spokesman of the Ministry of Interior, could not comment on the case until he receives more information about it.
Johann Schmonsees, a spokesman of the US Embassy, could not provide additional information because the case was being dealt with by the military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay.
However, a statement from the US Defense Department said “the charges stem from an attempt to carry out terrorist attacks against shipping vessels in the Strait of Hormuz and off the coast of Yemen.”
The statement said that the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Al-Darbi was captured in June 2002 and transferred to Guantanamo. The indictment says the suspect is also charged with offenses including attacking civilians, conspiracy, and carrying out terrorism and endangering a sea vessel.
According to reports, Al-Darbi would not get the death penalty if found guilty, unlike the accused mastermind of the attack, his fellow Saudi national Abd Al-Rahim Al-Nashiri.
There are currently 11 Saudi citizens still held at the detention camp in Guantanamo Bay.
A total of 133 Saudi suspects were held in the detention camps there since January 2002, but most of them were released after the Kingdom negotiated their release.
Only seven men held at Guantanamo have so far been convicted since the prison opened in 2002.
The US has said that it transferred two detainees into the custody of Saudi Arabia in December 2013, reducing the number of inmates still held at the facility to 160.

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