SAN RAFAEL, Calif. – The parents of John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban who now faces conspiracy charges, said Tuesday they are praying for a "just resolution" of his case.
"We are grateful to live in a nation that presumes innocence and withholds judgment until all of the facts are presented," Marilyn Walker and Frank Lindh said in a statement issued through their attorney.
Walker, 20, who fought with the Taliban in Afghanistan, will be tried in a civilian court and could face life in prison if convicted of conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens.
Steven Hyland, who met Walker in 1998 when the Californian studied at the Yemen Language Center, said in a phone interview from his Texas home that he was not happy with the severity of the charges facing Walker.
"I am concerned for the kid. He was a very naive kid, and now 3 years later he is looking at 60 years incarceration," Hyland said.
The Bush administration had considered whether to charge Walker in a civilian or military court and whether to charge him with treason, which carries the death penalty.
In the parents' statement, they thanked U.S. military officials for the medical care their son has received since being captured in December in Afghanistan.
"We are anxious to see him, to know his condition firsthand and to tell him we love him," the parents said. "We now hope that we will see our son soon and give him the love and support he needs."
But Walker's parents expressed concern about their inability to contact him. They said in the statement that their son had been interrogated repeatedly during six weeks in U.S. custody, but had not been given access to an attorney.
According to an FBI affidavit, Walker was interviewed by the FBI on Dec. 9 and 10 and waived his rights to a lawyer.