Conviction of bin Laden aide upheld

NEW YORK — A judge Wednesday upheld the conviction of an aide to Osama bin Laden in the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa despite government "inaction, incompetence and stonewalling" that he said had seriously jeopardized its case.

U.S. District Judge Kevin Duffy wrote that there were "grave concerns" that Wadih El-Hage should be retried because the U.S. Marshals Service suppressed evidence during his 2001 conspiracy trial. However, Duffy denied El-Hage a new trial, saying none of the undisclosed material was powerful enough to displace the government's other evidence of his guilt.

El-Hage, a former personal secretary to Osama bin Laden, and three others were sentenced to life in prison after they were convicted of conspiracy in the 1998 bombings of the embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The attacks killed 224 people, 12 of them Americans.