The feds treated Osama Bin Laden’s son-in-law like a prince while flying the accused al Qaeda spokesman to New York in January to face terror charges, an officer testified Tuesday.
Brian McHugh, a deputy U.S. marshal who took notes while an FBI agent interrogated Suleiman Abu Ghaith en route from Jordan, said the Americans repeatedly offered him food and water and allowed him to rest between questions.
An FBI interpreter even addressed Ghaith with the honorific “sheikh,” prompting a thank you from the terror suspect, McHugh said.
“Early on, he took a fairly long break. He said he was tired and he took a nap for over an hour,” said McHugh who sat across a courtroom from the Kuwaiti man charged with conspiracy to kill Americans.
Ghaith, 47, who has a large gray beard, wore a white skullcap and a blue prison jumpsuit in court and stared silently at McHugh.
The testimony came at a hearing about whether what Ghaith said aboard the Gulfstream jet flight will be allowed as evidence in the case.
Ghaith contends he was given only an orange to eat and that he soiled his clothing and urinated on his feet because the Americans forced him to use the bathroom in total darkness, with handcuffs on.
His lawyers argue Ghaith answered questions “out of a combination of disorientation, fear, isolation, fatigue and sensory deprivation,” and claim his statements should be suppressed because his constitutional rights were violated.
What constitutional rights? He’s not an American citizen.
Prior to his capture by the U.S., Ghaith was in custody for many years in Iran, where his lawyers contend he was brutally tortured.
But McHugh testified Tuesday that Ghaith seemed calm and content on the plane and that he was read his Miranda rights.
“He said he was willing to tell his story and answer our questions,” the marshal said.