Bin Laden spokesman said to speak at length to US

LARRY NEUMEISTER TOM HAYS Associated Press Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- Authorities say a senior al-Qaida leader and son-in-law of Osama bin Laden who was recently captured overseas spoke at length to U.S. officials.

U.S. prosecutor John P. Cronan said Friday in federal court in New York that Sulaiman Abu Ghaith (SOO'-lay-mahn AH'-boo GAYTH') made an "extensive post-arrest statement" that totaled 22 pages. Cronan gave no details about what Abu Ghaith said.

Abu Ghaith pleaded not guilty during the 15-minute proceeding to one count of conspiracy to kill Americans. Defense attorney Philip Weinstein says attorneys met with their client "several times before this proceeding."

Bail was not requested at the hearing and none was set. The judge says he will set a trial date at the next conference in the case, which is scheduled for April 8. Prosecutors say a trial is expected to last about three weeks.