News and Information

US embassy bombing suspect freed
December 22, 2004
A Tanzanian court has acquitted and released a man charged over the 1998 US embassy bombing in Dar es Salaam.

The judge said there were too many doubts to convict Rashid Sweleh Hemed, after a trial lasting several years.

Eleven people died in the Tanzania attack. Another blast the same day at the US embassy in the Kenyan capital Nairobi killed a further 213 people.

The 34-year-old businessman had 11 counts of murder reduced to conspiracy charges during the course of the trial.


He told AP news agency he had expected the decision.

"I am not surprised with the judgment because I knew I was not guilty right from the beginning," he said as he walked out of the High Court and hugged his relatives.

I think justice has been done today
Defence lawyer Fauz Twaib

Judge Emilian Mushi, who presided over the trial, said he was satisfied that the accused person was not aware of the bombing activities by the alleged conspirators.

"There is no evidence from which it can be properly inferred that he was part of the conspiracy to bomb the US embassy," he said.

"Accordingly, I find him not guilty. He is therefore acquitted."

Mr Hemed's lawyer Fauz Twaib said he was relieved by the verdict.

"I think justice has been done today.

"It's been a long wait but ultimately I think the judgement was fair and my client deserved to win," he told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.


What is al-Qaeda?

In 2001, a US jury convicted four men of conspiring to kill Americans in the embassy bombings.

US investigators blame Osama Bin Laden's terror network for the bombings.


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