You’ll recall that three 9/11 defendants earlier responded to Judge Pohl’s inquiry regarding separate trials for each of the five accused.
Of this group, only Ammar al-Baluchi (aka Ali Abdul Aziz Ali) had opposed a joint trial. His written opposition is now available, and argues that al-Baluchi’s trial strategy will be to demonstrate that his “logistical role in the conspiracy was relatively minor.” As a consequence, his lawyers claim, al-Baluchi’s interests would conflict with that of his co-defendants, during the merits and penalty phases of a joint trial. (Defendants Ramzi bin al Shibh and Walid bin Attash had responded to the commission’s order, too. Their attorneys deliberately took no position as to severance. Bin al Shibh’s filing has been released and can be found here; the latter’s is still slogging through a security check. Bin al Shibh’s papers cite, among other things, the lack of necessary discovery and other factors that preclude an informed decision as to severance at this time.)
When we last reported, the two stragglers had been Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Mustafa al Hawsawi, who asked for and received extra time to comment on the commission’s severance order. Both men have since filed responses, but only the latter’s has cleared the Pentagon’s security review. It appears that al-Hawsawi also “does not advance a position” on the severance question – though his filing does not explain his ambivalence. Unlike bin al-Shibh’s, al-Hawsawi’s response does not complain, for example, about impingements on the attorney-client relationship, or the absence of needed discovery from the government.