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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 October, 2004, 07:46 GMT 08:46 UK
US citizen jailed for Libya ties
Crown Prince Abdullah
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah was the alleged target
A US court has jailed a citizen for 23 years for illegal financial dealings linked to an alleged Libyan plot to kill Saudi Arabia's de facto leader.

US Muslim activist Abdurahman Alamoudi pleaded guilty in July to three charges of illegal dealings with Libya.

He was not charged in connection with the alleged plot to assassinate the Crown Prince, but prosecutors said his conduct required the maximum sentence.

US Attorney General John Ashcroft welcomed the conclusion of the case.

The sentence "shows that the system works", he said in a statement.

"We have reason to suspect that through his co-operation, we will obtain intelligence that will assist us in our ongoing efforts to advance these critical investigations," he added.

Libya has denied plotting to assassinate Crown Prince Abdullah.

'Upset'

Abdurahman, 52, who was born in Eritrea, has admitted taking part in a plot and has been co-operating with US investigators.

The US Justice Department described an elaborate plot, in which Alamoudi - a founder of the American Muslim Council and the American Muslim Foundation - served as a go-between between top Libyan officials and Saudi dissidents.

Muammar Gaddafi
Gaddafi is alleged to have been upset after clashing with the Crown Prince in 2003

A department statement said Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was upset after clashing with the Crown Prince during an Arab League summit in March 2003.

The Saudi walked out questioning how Col Gaddafi came to power, after the Libyan leader criticised Saudi Arabia for hosting US troops ahead of the Iraq war.

Prosecution documents showed that Alamoudi had been told initially that the alleged plot was aimed only at creating difficulties for Saudi leaders.

'Regret'

Alamoudi pleaded guilty to three criminal charges, including tax and immigration violations.

He is said to have made contact with at least two Saudis in Britain and brought them hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash.

The justice department said the defendant illegally received other funds from the Libyan government.

"Your honour, I regret my involvement in everything," Alamoudi said before sentencing.

The sentencing comes at a time when the US and Libya are mending relations.

Tripoli's ties with the West have blossomed since it renounced weapons of mass destruction in December.




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