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Opening arguments are expected today in the trial of a Falls Church, Va., man suspected of conspiring with al Qaeda to kill President George W. Bush. Judge Gerald Bruce Lee last week denied a defense motion to dismiss the charges against Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, who is being tried in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Abu Ali, 24, was attending school in Saudi Arabia when he was arrested in June 2003 by Saudi law enforcement for allegedly joining al Qaeda and devising plans to carry out acts of terrorism in the United States, including a conspiracy to assassinate the president. In his motion to dismiss, Abu Ali says he was tortured by Saudi officials to elicit incriminating statements and that because his imprisonment was a “joint venture” between Saudi Arabia and the United States, he should have been read his Miranda rights before being questioned. He alleges he was whipped, kicked, chained to the ground, and subjected to sensory deprivation. But Lee, who denied the motion to dismiss after hearing 14 days of testimony, writes in his opinion, “neither the conduct of the U.S. nor Saudi law enforcement officials in the arrest, detention or interrogation of the defendant �shocks the conscience’ of the court.”
Sarah Kelley can be contacted at [email protected].

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