By Associated Press - Monday, October 20, 2014

WASHINGTON — A Libyan militant has pleaded not guilty to charges arising from the 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

Ahmed Abu Khatallah, 43, entered the plea through his lawyer Monday in a 15-minute court proceeding before a federal judge.

An 18-count grand jury indictment handed up last week makes Khatallah eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

The charges against him include murder of an internationally protected person, murder of an officer and employee of the United States and killing a person in the course of an attack on a federal facility.

Khatallah is the first militant to be prosecuted for the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attacks.

Khatallah’s lawyer said the government has failed to show his client was connected to the attacks.

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