Military Commissions Chief Prosecutor Mark Martins released the following remarks yesterday at Guantanamo Bay before the resumption of pre-trial hearings in the case Khalid Shaikh Mohammad et al.
Latest in 9/11 case
Army Col. James Pohl, the military judge presiding over the 9/11 military commissions trial at Guantanamo Bay, abruptly canceled this week's hearings on Friday, April 1st. (Insert obligatory no April Fools joke here).
We pick up the February 23 session in the afternoon, with Col. Pohl presiding. (Transcripts from the morning session were not released.) Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, who was absent in the morning session, has joined.
Judge review of unredacted versions of documents (AE 112)
Pre-trial sessions resumed this week in the military commission trial of five Guantanamo detainees, who allegedly orchestrated the September 11th attacks. Only three of the five accused were present Monday morning when hearings resumed after the weekend recess. Walid Bin Attash used his right not to be present as a pointed stab in his months-long fight to replace his defense team, writing to the court that he would not attend “because of the presence of the attorneys Cheryl Bormann and Michael Schwartz on my defense team.”
2/18 Session: Trying to Finish Classification Review “Within the Lives of Living Men” and Zero Dark Thirty Discovery
The commission is called to order with four defendants present (Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa al Hawsawi) and one conspicuously absent (Walid bin Attash.) Judge Pohl begins the session by swearing in an unnamed Army Major to confirm that bin Attash voluntarily waived his right to be present.
After a brief moment of confusion related to Appellate Exhibit (AE) 408 - or is it 408A? – everyone gets on the same page and realizes that it’s just bin Attash’s waiver form for today, as opposed to the one from yesterday’s session.
Military Judge James Pohl opens the session at 9:35 am. He notes the names of those present, including each of the defendants except for Ramzi Binalshibh. An anonymous US Army major takes the stand to testify that Binalshibh had been advised of his right to attend proceedings and has chosen not to do so.
It’s a new year—the final one of the Obama administration—and we’re back at Guantanamo still working, as the Military Commission convened to try five of the 9/11 conspirators resumes pre-trial sessions.
You remember our rogue’s gallery of defendants—Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa al Hawsawi—stand accused of plotting the attacks of September 11th, which killed nearly 3,000 people.
Judge Pohl opens the session this morning, recalling an unnamed U.S. Army Captain as a witness for the defense. She testifies that Mr. Hawsawi—the only defendant not present in the courtroom—has freely chosen not to attend the day’s commission hearings. Judge Pohl finds that Hawsawi voluntarily waived his presence at the hearing, and the substantive proceedings begin.
Still Too Noisy?
Military Commissions Chief Prosecutor Mark Martins issued the following statement on Friday, December 11th, at the close of the week's pre-trial hearings in the 9/11 case:
Judge Pohl calls the commission to order, and this time, we actually have a session. Everyone is here except Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Mustafa Al Hawsawi, but they have waived their presences voluntarily. So we’re good to go.