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US judge declares mistrial in case of suspected Benghazi conspirator


The jury had been unable to agree on all but two charges


A federal judge has declared a mistrial in the case of a man suspected to be one of the conspirators behind the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.

What happened during the attack?

On Sept. 11, 2012, the U.S. mission in Benghazi was attacked, and four Americans were killed, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. The attack led to a series of investigations and questions into the handling of the situation by the State Department, which then was under the purview of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

What happened now?

On Monday, Judge Casey Cooper of the D.C. District Court declared a mistrial in the case of Mustafa al-Imam, who is suspected of being one of the people behind the attack. This comes just days after a jury found al-Imam guilty on two counts, including one of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to terrorists.

The jury had been trying to reach a decision on more than a dozen other charges, including several counts of murdering the men inside the compound.

On Monday, the jury said that it had not been able to come to unanimous agreement on any of the remaining counts." The jury reportedly had been deliberating for nearly three weeks.

What else?

Another man, Ahmed Abu Khatallah, was sentenced in 2017 to 22 months in prison for his role in the attack. Khatallah had tried to get his conviction also thrown out as a mistrial, but in June last year Judge Cooper ruled against him.

"The court is confident that any prejudice engendered by the government's appeal to the jury's sympathy for the victims did not affect its verdict," Cooper said.

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