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American Taleban Fighter Formally Charged - 2002-01-24


American Taleban fighter John Walker Lindh has been formally charged with conspiring to kill U-S citizens abroad and providing material support to a terrorist organization.

Heavy security surrounded Mr. Walker's arrival and appearance at a federal courthouse outside Washington today (Thursday). When questioned by the judge, the clean-shaven Mr. Walker said only that he understands the charges against him and the possible penalties.

The 20-year-old American is facing a maximum sentence of life in prison and is being held without bail awaiting a detention hearing scheduled for February sixth.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says President Bush looks forward to seeing justice done in the courts, but stressed that the president does not have any influence over the final verdict.

Mr. Walker will be represented by defense attorney James Brosnahan, who says his client had first requested legal counsel nearly two months ago, and had only just been told of the charges against him.

Mr. Walker's father, Frank Lindh, told reporters that he believes his son is innocent and never intended harm to any Americans. His mother, Marilyn Walker, said she is grateful to see her son and is glad he is home.

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