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Monday, 10 July, 2000, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Embassy bomb suspect in court
Wreckage of the US embassy in Dar es Salaam
Eleven people died in the Tanzania bombing
A man accused of involvement in the bombing of the US embassy in Tanzania in August 1998, has denied a charge of conspiracy to murder.

This was the first time Rashidi Saleh Hemed had entered a plea since his arrest shortly after the attack. No date was set for his trial.

The bomb killed 11 people and wounded more than 70, on the same day that a similar attack in Nairobi left more than 200 dead.

Prosecutors told Judge Ameir Manento that Mr Hemed regularly housed five men suspected of carrying out the attack.

Rashid Hemed knew what was happening

Geoffrey Shaidi, Principal State Attorney

Police say that when they searched Mr Hemed's house, they discovered traces of chemicals believed to have been used to manufacture the bomb.

"On this basis, Rashid Hemed knew what was happening and by not informing authorities, was party to conspiracy to murder," Principal State Attorney Geoffrey Shaidi told the court.

But defence attorney Fauz Twaib denied the allegations.

Public joins in rescue effort
Over 200 were killed in the Nairobi bombing

The other four co-accused are at large, but the fifth, Tanzanian Khalfan Khamis Mohammed is in custody in the US facing charges in connection with the bombing on 7 August 1998.

Earlier, Mr Hemed was jointly charged with Egyptian Mustafa Mohamed Said Ahmed, but Tanzania's public prosecution director later dropped the charges against the Egyptian and then immediately deported him.

Conspiracy to murder

Murder charges against Mr Hemed were reduced to one count of conspiracy to murder, carrying a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.

Osama Bin Laden
$5m is offered for Bin Laden's capture

An almost simultaneous blast at the US embassy in Nairobi killed 213 people - 12 of them Americans - and wounded more than 5,000 others.

Three other suspects linked to the bombing of the two embassies are in custody in New York. All the three have pleaded not guilty.

One of the defendants, Mohammed Rashed Daoud al-'Owhali faces a death penalty. He is accused of being a passenger in a truck that carried the Nairobi bomb.

The second anniversary of the East African bomb explosions is due next month but the man believed by the US authorities to be the mastermind - Saudi exile Osama bin Laden - remains at large.

Mr Bin Laden is believed to be living in Afghanistan under the protection of the Taleban.

The United States has placed a $5m reward on the Saudi dissident's head. His name is on the FBI's list of the 10 most wanted criminals.

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