Southern District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan yesterday ordered Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani to prison for life for his role in the al-Qaida conspiracy to bomb two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998.

The judge delivered the sentence after rejecting out of hand a plea for leniency by defense attorney Peter Quijano. Mr. Quijano sought a break for his client based on the claims that Mr. Ghailani had been tortured by CIA agents and had provided useful intelligence to the CIA and the fact that a jury on Nov. 17, 2010, found him guilty of only one of 285 counts—conspiracy to destroy U.S. buildings and property.