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Life sentence for Gitmo detainee in embassy plot

NEW YORK CITY — The first Guantanamo detainee to be tried in a civilian court has been sentenced to life in prison.

A federal judge in Manhattan imposed the term Tuesday on 36-year-old Ahmed Ghailani.

Ghailani was acquitted late last year of more than 200 counts of murder and dozens of other charges related to an al-Qaida attack on two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998.

The jury convicted him of a single count of conspiring to destroy government buildings.

The defense sought to convince the judge Ghailani deserved leniency because he didn’t have firsthand knowledge of the scheme. They also said the CIA tortured him after his capture.

Prosecutors argued for a life sentence. They said Ghailani knew about the plot all along and was a key player.