Terrorism Trials: Military Commissions

Next Week's Hearings Postponed in United States v. KSM et al

By Wells Bennett
Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 11:37 AM

That's the word on the street, the military judge having granted the defense's request for a continuance.

In seeking a delay, lawyers for the five defendants had expressed concerns about information technology.  They said that court information security personnel had disclosed defense communications to prosecutors in the Al Qosi case, which is now pending before the Court of  Military Commission Review; and further that certain defense work product also had disappeared, mysteriously, from computer servers.

Walter Ruiz, a lawyer for 9/11 accused Mustafa al-Hawsawi, said this in a statement released earlier today:

The judge ruled that the defense request is reasonable on its face and that the interests of justice are served by granting a continuance and those interests outweigh the best interests of the public and the accused in a prompt trial. The next hearing is now scheduled for 17-21 June.

Update: The court's order continuing the case is available here.  Relatedly, the court also denied a government motion to reconsider the postponement, in light of, among other things, the government's notice of "events related to protection of privileged materials."  The latter explained that prosecutors had not reviewed the contents of any privileged defense communications.