A Libyan militia leader who was convicted for participating in the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in 2012 was sentenced to 22 years in prison on Wednesday.
Ahmed Abu Khattala, 47, was convicted in November on charges including conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists for his role in the attack, which killed four Americans, including U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens.
However, the jury acquitted Khattala of more serious charges of murder and attempted murder, after defense lawyers cast doubt that his actions led directly to the deaths of Stevens and State Department information officer Sean Smith on Sept 11, 2012.
Before handing down the sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Christopher R. Cooper acknowledged the defense’s claim that the jury had found reasonable doubt to believe Khattala was not directly responsible for the killings — in part because surveillance video showed him arriving at the consulate after the attack was mostly over.
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