WASHINGTON — The suspect in the Benghazi attacks has appeared before three judges in less than two weeks and now his lawyers will begin the long work of building a defense against the charges he’ll face.
In a brief court appearance Tuesday, Ahmed Abu Khattala listened through an interpreter as a federal prosecutor told U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper that thousands of pages of material are being turned over to the defense. A lawyer for Khattala, Michelle Peterson, said a great deal more is on the way.
The next proceeding in the case was set for Sept. 9.
Prosecutor Michael DiLorenzo also said the government plans to file new charges. Currently, Abu Khattala is accused of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to terrorists, resulting in death.
On June 28, Abu Khattala pleaded not guilty during a 10-minute appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola. On July 2, U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson directed that Abu Khattala would remain in custody.
Cooper is the newest federal judge in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia. He was a nominee of President Barack Obama and took office in March. He said his wife formerly supervised the national security section in the U.S. Attorney’s office, which is handling the case against Abu Khattala. Cooper said his wife left the office in 2008, long before the events in the current case.
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