NEW YORK – Jurors entered their seventh day of deliberations Friday at the trial of four men accused of plotting to bomb U.S. embassies in Africa.
Graphic photos and victim testimony will be allowed if a death penalty phase becomes necessary, a judge ruled Thursday.
Defense attorney Frederick Cohn argued that prosecutors' plan to call 30 witnesses was excessive. Many witnesses would be the maimed survivors of the attacks, which killed 224 people, including 12 Americans, in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Aug. 7, 1998.
"I mean, how many blind people do you need to testify?" Cohn asked during a brief hearing with jurors out of the courtroom. "It's a parade of people with similar injuries. I think it's too much."
But U.S. District Judge Leonard Sand ruled it would be "reasonable and appropriate" for jurors to hear from victims and see crime scene photos. "What occurred was not a bloodless event," he said.
Sand praised the jury of seven women and five men, saying it had "already demonstrated that it is carefully considering and meticulously reviewing the evidence. This jury has already seen the blood and gore. This jury is not likely to be stampeded or overwhelmed by emotion."
Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-'Owhali, 24, and another man accused of carrying out the bombings, Khalfan Khamis Mohamed, 27, could face death in separate penalty proceedings if found guilty.
Wadih El-Hage, 40, as personal secretary for fugitive Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden, allegedly established a terrorist cell in Nairobi as part of a campaign by bin Laden's organization to kill Americans. He and the alleged "technical adviser" to the bombings, Mohamed Sadeek Odeh, 36, each could face life in prison if convicted.