Al-Qaeda suspect dies days before US trial: lawyer

3rd January 2015, Comments 0 comments

A Libyan accused over the 1998 Al-Qaeda bombings of US embassies in Africa died on Friday, days before he was to stand trial in New York, his lawyer and family said.

Abu Anas al-Libi, 50, was on the FBI's most-wanted list with a $5 million price on his head when he was captured by US troops in the Libyan capital Tripoli in October 2013.

He and Saudi businessman Khalid al-Fawwaz were due to stand trial on January 12 over the attacks on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 244 people and wounded more than 5,000.

Libi, a computer expert, died at a hospital in the New York area on Friday, his lawyer Bernard Kleinman told The Washington Post, saying the health of his client -- who had advanced liver cancer -- had deteriorated significantly in the last month.

Libi and Fawwaz both previously pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges.

A third suspect, Egyptian Adel Abdel Bary, last year pleaded guilty to playing a role in the 1998 attacks.

Libi's son Abdel Mouin told CNN by telephone from Tripoli early Saturday that his father had been in a coma before his death and that the family holds the US government "fully responsible" for his demise.

Libi, who also suffered from hepatitis C, told a federal court in Manhattan in October that he had been on hunger strike when questioned by FBI agents -- during which he made an incriminating statement.

Looking pale and thin, and speaking very quietly through a translator, Libi told the court that he had told "anyone who asked" that he was on a hunger strike.

He was detained by US commandos on October 5, 2013, and interrogated on board a US warship before being handed over to FBI agents on October 12.

Kleinman says Libi was innocent and had cut his ties with Al-Qaeda before the 1998 attacks.

© 2015 AFP

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