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9/11 suspects refuse to answer judge's questions as Guantánamo trial opens

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others appear before military court facing 2,976 charges of murder over 9/11 terror attacks.



Chris McGreal at Fort Meade
Follow @chrismcgreal
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/05/9-11-suspects-guantanamo-trial


Khalid
Sheikh Mohammed has been accused of orchestrating the 9/11 attacks. The
prosecution is seeking the death penalty for the accused.

The self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four other accused terrorists disrupted the first stage of their trial on charges of terrorism and mass murder at a Guantánamo Bay military court on Saturday by refusing to acknowledge the judge.

The
men, one of whom was brought to the arraignment hearing strapped to a
restraining chair after refusing to attend, dropped their previous
insistence on pleading guilty and demanding to be executed in favour of
refusing to answer the judge's questions as their lawyers repeatedly
challenged the legitimacy of the court.Mohammed's lawyer
attempted to raise the issue of torture, saying that "the world is
watching" after the US government admitted to waterboarding the accused
terrorist 183 times. But the military judge refused to permit
discussion.Another defence lawyer, James Connell, called the
military court a "blight on America's international reputation and her
commitment to the rule of law."Mohammed and his co-accused –
Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi and
Walid bin Attash – face charges of 2,976 counts of murder for each of
the victims who died on 9/11, as well as accusations of terrorism,
hijacking, conspiracy and destruction of property.The prosecution is seeking the death penalty for all of the men.

At
a similar hearing in 2008, Mohammed mocked the court and tried to plead
guilty, saying he wanted to be put to death as a martyr, but the US
supreme court later struck down the rules of evidence and the trial was
called off. He has also previously compared himself to George Washington
and demanded to be treated as a combatant, not a terrorist.But
defence lawyers on Saturday suggested that the accused men would this
time choose not to plead. Instead, in their first public appearance in
more than three years, they refused to participate in the occasionally
chaotic one-day hearing.Early in the proceedings, the accused removed their headphones.

Mohammed's lawyer, David Nevin, said it was because of his treatment while in detention.

"The reason he's not putting the headphones in his ears is because of the torture imposed on him," he said.

Nevin asked to be allowed to elaborate but the judge, Colonel James Pohl, refused to let him.

Pohl
said that if the men refused to participate in proceedings then in due
course a plea of not guilty would be entered on their behalf."One cannot choose not to participate and frustrate the normal course of business," he said.

The
issue of torture has badly tainted the military tribunal, which is the
second attempt to put the men on trial after the US supreme court
blocked an earlier trial over protection of the accused's rights.The chief military prosecutor, Brigadier-General Mark Martins, urged critics to give the tribunal a chance.

"I'm confident that this court can achieve justice and fairness," he said. "This is a system worthy of the nation's confidence."

The
accused men generally sat quietly, dressed entirely in white clothes
and turbans they were required to wear by their military jailers. But
one of them, Bin al-Shibh, interrupted proceedings by shouting,
comparing the Guantánamo prison to life under the former Libyan
dictator, Muammar Gaddafi."Era of Gaddafi is over, but you have
Gaddafi in (Guantánamo) camp. Maybe they are going to kill us and say
that we are committing suicide," he said.Most of the disruption,
albeit procedural, came from the defence lawyers, who conducted what
appeared to be a coordinated challenge to the credibility of the court.Nevin
repeatedly tried to bring up the issue of the torture of Mohammed's
torture while he was in CIA custody. Then the lawyers raised a slew of
issues as they were asked to take the oath to represent their clients.One
said he could not take such an oath and would only swear to do his best
because of the severe restrictions on access to the accused, including
having what he said should be confidential conversations monitored by
the military.Anything the accused men say to their lawyer can be
used by the prosecution in court. Another lawyer protested at the lack
of a translator to be able to talk to his client.The judge came back that if they lawyers didn't swear, then they could not be counsel in the case.

"It's like being pregnant – you either take the oath or you don't," he said.

The
only female defence lawyer, Cheryl Bormann, asked the judge to order
female members of prosecution to cover themselves up "so that our
clients are not forced to not look at the prosecution for fear of
committing a sin under their faith". Bormann was wearing an abaya. Some
of the women in court were wearing skirts. Relatives of those who
died in the 9/11 attacks welcomed the fact that more than a decade
later the organisers are finally to face justice. Among the relatives of
the dead watching the proceedings at Guantanamo was Cliff Russell whose
brother, a firefighter, was killed in the World Trade Center. "I wish
the worst possible death for them," he said. "I'm not looking forward to
ending someone else's life and taking satisfaction in it, but it's the
most disgusting, hateful, awful thing I ever could think of if you think
about what was perpetrated."Tara Henwood Butzbaugh, whose brother was working on the 105th floor of one of the towers when the planes hit, echoed the call.

"Death," she said. "Nothing less."

But
Blake Allison, whose wife was on the first plane to hit the towers,
said he was opposed to the death penalty for the accused men."It's not a productive or appropriate way to resolve something," he said. "It just perpetuates the idea of needing revenge."

Defence lawyers promised a lengthy fight.

"This
is only the beginning of a trial that will take years to complete,
followed by years of appellate review," said Connell. "I can't imagine
any scenario where this thing gets wrapped up in six months."


Added: May-5-2012 Occurred On: May-5-2012
By: allyssa
In:
World News
Tags: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, 9/11, trial, torture,
Location: Guantanamo, Guantanamo, Cuba (load item map)
Views: 2892 | Comments: 65 | Votes: 1 | Favorites: 1 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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  • Let them rot.

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

    (7) | Report

    • Comment of user 'MrScabs' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Makes no sense to me how they can stand trial after being tortured and than use their torture confessions for the trial. It's pretty medieval and distasteful coming from what I thought was the greatest nation on earth.

    Bush put a stain on our nation that can not be cleaned so easily as this banana court theater, it's only making a further mockery out of this country.

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

    (5) | Report

  • So what? Like we care? He murder thousands of people. I agree with Noalias, let the scum rot in a military prison.

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • Comment of user 'MB-UK' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • Comment of user 'MrScabs' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • Comment of user 'MB-UK' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • These assholes shouldnt even be given a trial. A bullet to the back of their heads is more than they deserve. The wasted time and tax payers dollars on these cowardly scumbags is a travesty to common sense and justice.

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

    (4) | Report

    • Comment of user 'tsatoke13' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @nonconforme
      I don't suppose you bothered reading the piece? you usually don't before commenting.

      "At a similar hearing in 2008, Mohammed mocked the court and tried to plead guilty, saying he wanted to be put to death as a martyr, but the US supreme court later struck down the rules of evidence and the trial was called off."

      I agree with you. Kill them. It's what almost everyone wants including them. But the US should have the balls to admit it.

      Posted May-5-2012 By 

      (0) | Report

    • @allyssa

      Yeah I read it ally and yes we fucked up by not granting their wish. But you have to realize that it's the Bleeding Heart Left and PC Drones in this Country who stood(stand) in the way of their wish. I say let the muslimes have their martyr's and a lot more of them and while we are at it lets take the PC gloves off in the Stan and take this fight to the talifags once and for all. Either way until we deal with the Liberal left and get them out of the way of what needs to be done, we'll More..

      Posted May-5-2012 By 

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    • @tsatoke13

      LOL. Dream on chief.

      Posted May-5-2012 By 

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    • @tsatoke13 WTF are you talking about?

      Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • Comment of user 'nomadlife' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Comment of user 'xdeadhead' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • The Hollywood soap opera is not over; in the last episode, Bin Laden was playing with the playstation, then decided a swim in the sea.

    A democrazy of peace......ah , and freedom....

    Posted May-6-2012 By 

    (2) | Report

  • Well of course they arent going to talk anymore!!

    They know that our current administration is too ball-less to waterboard them. All in the name of human rights!!

    This MF'er deserves no rights and anybody who disagrees with me, I dare you to watch the Peter Berg beheading and see if you feel the same afterwards.

    They began to saw off his head then stopped because they forgot to rewind the tape! So Berg had to suffer even more just so they could catch it on tape.

    Drench this fool in pigs bloo More..

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

    (2) | Report

    • @barogers619

      At a similar hearing in 2008, Mohammed mocked the court and tried to plead guilty, saying he wanted to be put to death as a martyr, but the US supreme court later struck down the rules of evidence and the trial was called off.

      Fucking pansy administration and its silly human rights, indeed.

      But how far back the current, ball-less administration goes in time?

      Posted May-5-2012 By 

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    • @Valerie2007 The administration in 2008 just had small balls they added two ball-less supreme court justices under Obama; so the statement our current administration is ball-less has been proven true by the additions Obama made.

      The supreme court justices have been the same for quite some time if you take away the addition of Kagan and Sotomayer, whom were added under Obama.

      Posted May-5-2012 By 

      (1) | Report

    • @barogers619

      so the statement our current administration is ball-less has been proven true

      Yeah, no doubt. But I was asking, how far back in time do we need to go to find something else than a pansy administration? 1976? 1954? 1917? 1882? 1750?

      Posted May-5-2012 By 

      (1) | Report

    • @Valerie2007 I would venture to say they are hit and miss through out our history.

      Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • they pulled this shit before,not talking or being disruptive,then they water boarded them, and they "yapped" for days...should do it again

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • Comment of user 'xdeadhead' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Simple solution here. Refuse them the luxury of a trial and stick them in 24 hr lock down for the rest of their pathetic life.

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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    • @Kafirindareelharb We cant give them a fair trial but im sure we could give them a fair hanging.

      Posted May-5-2012 By 

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    • Comment of user 'xdeadhead' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • It pisses me off that our government is even wasting they're time with these subhuman trash and have taken so long for justice to be be served,just execute them and be done with this circus,we know they did it,not to mention all of the families are still being tortured with this bullshit all Rekindling again,they don't desrve a trial period.

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • Khalid Sheikh Mohammed should have been killed long ago. Now he can claim that all his witnesses are dead including OBL.

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • One half of me want's to see him languish in jail against his wishes for 'martyrdom' for the rest of his day's,the other half want's to see real monetary progression.

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

    (1) | Report

  • If these Hadji douchebags want to act brain dead, let's simply make them that way.

    Why are we wasting time anyway? Throw them in a pit with a feral boar hog and let the pig tear their guts out.

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

    (1) | Report

    • Comment of user 'xdeadhead' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @staxman I guess you're missing the point of American exceptionalism. Although it's been thrown under the bus by the Bush administration.

      Posted May-5-2012 By 

      (1) | Report

    • Comment of user 'nomadlife' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @Zardoz003 American Exceptionalism? Ha. The Left has turned it into Americans are the best, EXCEPT those who are successful, have personal responsibility and expect it of others, demand an end to hand-outs to the able-bodied generational welfare class, believe in personal accountability vs Federal Government nanny-ism, etc.

      What I view as Exceptionalism fades a little more each day, and will until we get a government (Dem or Rep, don't care) that takes us back to the original precepts and soc More..

      Posted May-6-2012 By 

      (0) | Report

  • that guy on the left is one hairy motherfucker

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

    (0) | Report

  • GUILTY!


    One .223 round to the head and 'the end'

    Posted May-6-2012 By 

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  • What a waste of money. Give them a Colombian Necktie and be through with it already.

    Posted May-6-2012 By 

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  • He looks rough in that pic on the left.
    "yeah man it was fucking happy hour and the Pina Coladas were flowing....anyway I get up this morning and some twat shaved my beard off.....when I catch the bastard I will jihad his ass"

    Posted May-5-2012 By 

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  • No problem,
    shoot them

    Posted May-6-2012 By 

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  • Comment of user 'tsatoke13' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Blake Allison, whose wife was on the first plane to hit the towers,
    said he was opposed to the death penalty for the accused men."It's not a productive or appropriate way to resolve something," he said. "It just perpetuates the idea of needing revenge."

    I admire that man, I couldn't do it.

    Posted Jul-12-2013 By 

    (0) | Report