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Student accused in Bush assassination plot alleges Saudi torture led to confession

[JURIST] Ahmed Omar Abu Ali [indictment, PDF], a Virginia man charged with joining al Qaeda [JURIST report] and plotting to assassinate President Bush, testified Wednesday that he had been beaten and tortured after being arrested in Saudi Arabia. The testimony was offered during a pre-trial hearing to determine whether a confession he made in 2003 was coerced. Abu Ali, who attended college in Saudi Arabia, angrily said Saudi authorities had refused to allow him to contact the US embassy and later whipped him. The US has argued that Abu Ali confessed voluntarily to his involvement in the plot. Both sides presented expert testimony on Tuesday on whether scars on Abu Ali's back could have been caused by torture. If District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee finds that the confession was coerced, he could dismiss the entire case against Abu Ali. AP has more.

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