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Judge orders Abu Ali sentencing delayed for surveillance check

[JURIST] A federal judge has granted a request by defense attorneys [JURIST report] that sentencing for Ahmed Omar Abu Ali [JURIST news archive], convicted [JURIST report] in November of last year for joining al Qaeda and conspiring to assassinate President Bush, be delayed until March 9 so that prosecutors have time to file a sworn declaration revealing whether or not evidence used against Abu Ali was gained through warrantless surveillance, the constitutionality of which has been questioned. The 24-year-old former Virginia high school valedictorian claimed at trial that he was tortured [JURIST report] while held in Saudi Arabia after June 2003. Judge Gerald Bruce Lee made his ruling Friday of last week but it only became public Tuesday.

Prosecutors have thusfar denied any knowledge of illegally-obtained evidence, but admit that they do know how investigators put together their case against Abu Ali. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison. AP has more.

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