Trial of alleged 9/11 accused resumes after 17 monthstext_fields
Cuba: The prosecution of the accused of the September 11 attacks in the US to restart on Tuesday, days before the 20th anniversary of the attacks, Agence France-Presse reported.
The defendants, who were jailed at the "War on Terror" prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for 15 years, will appear before the military tribunal after 17 months, a halt induced by the pandemic.
Meanwhile, new military judge, Air Force Colonel Matthew McCall, signalled a slow start on Sunday, as another hearing focused on his qualifications to hear the case will take place on Tuesday. A new judge's possible bias could be questioned in the war crimes tribunal. The rest of the week will involve meetings with military prosecutors and defence teams.
Scores of motions are placed demanding evidence that military prosecutors refuse to hand over, citing which defence attorneys said that the pretrial phase could last another year while the jury trial and verdict will take more.
Attorneys said that the five accused Mohammed, Ammar al-Baluchi, Walid bin Attash, Ramzi bin al-Shibh and Mustafa al-Hawsawi are weak and suffer the lasting effects of severe torture from the CIA and the 15 years of extreme isolation. They will appear in an ultra-security military commissions courtroom within razor wire fences, each with his own defence team.
The accused are charged with murder and terrorism in the war crimes tribunal and are represented by attorneys assigned by the military and pro-bono lawyers from the private sector and NGOs.