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Al-Nashiri's defense wants to know probable execution method.

Riyadh: Arab News

Lawyers defending a Saudi in prison in Guantanamo Bay for the suicide attack on the USS Cole on Oct. 12, 2000 in Aden, Yemen have demanded to know how he will be put to death if convicted.

The lawyers have expressed concerns in the wake of the last execution implemented in the state of Oklahoma in the US, where the inmate did not die immediately after he was administered a lethal injection.

Civilian defense attorney Richard Kammen had asked Vance Spath, the military judge presiding over the case, to order the secretary of defense to publish execution protocols for civilians convicted by military commissions. The judge, an air force colonel, has since deferred ruling on the motion.

Prosecutors have maintained that they still do not know which method will be used for execution since Abdul Rahman Al-Nashiri may appeal the verdict.

Al-Nashiri is faced with charges of terrorism and murder at a special tribunal for wartime offenses following the attack, which killed 17 sailors and wounded dozens more.

He is also accused of setting up an October 2002 bombing of the French tanker MV Limburg, which killed one American crewman, in addition to a failed January 2000 plot on the USS Sullivans.

Al-Nashiri's trial was due to begin in February 2015, but is expected to be delayed due to lengthy procedures ahead of the trial.

Kammen said the defense demands to know the execution method after Michael Wilson, an Oklahoma inmate who was executed by lethal injection, suffered before dying. Wilson's last words reportedly were "I feel my whole body burning."

Wilson, 38, was executed using a cocktail of drugs including pentobarbital, prison officials said. The use of pentobarbital in lethal executions has become increasingly common since sodium thiopental, the drug historically used as an anesthetic, became unavailable in 2011 after the manufacturer stopped supplying it for executions.

But pentobarbital is considered a controversial substitute for sodium thiopental because its manufacture is often poorly regulated, and contaminated batches can cause exruciating pain prior to death.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Aug 10, 2014
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