Defense doctor corroborates torture claims in Virginia terror case |

Defense doctor corroborates torture claims in Virginia terror case

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A U.S. citizen accused of joining al-Qaida and plotting to assassinate President Bush bore strong signs that he was tortured while in Saudi custody, a doctor testified Tuesday.Allen Keller, director of the Bellevue/New York University Program for Survivors of Torture, said he examined Ahmed Omar Abu Ali in an Alexandria jail in April. He said he saw about 10 thin, linear scars on the 24-year-old’s back that were consistent with someone being whipped.But prosecutors said Keller naively accepted Abu Ali’s concocted story that Saudi authorities tortured him into confessing his plans for terrorist activity in 2003.Government experts earlier testified that the marks on his back were insignificant.Abu Ali is charged with joining al-Qaida while attending college in Saudi Arabia and planning several terrorist plots, including assassinating President Bush.Defense attorneys have asked U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee to toss out Abu Ali’s confession to the Saudis before his trial is scheduled to start later this month.Keller, who was hired by Abu Ali’s lawyers, testified that he examined and interviewed Abu Ali for about eight hours, and found Abu Ali’s story “highly credible.”Abu Ali was held in Saudi custody for 20 months before being turned over to U.S. authorities in February to face charges.Vail, Colorado

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