Lawyers for the accused mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. are trying to get his case dismissed. After five-years of arguments, a judge will now decide if a military court in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, can hear the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
CGTN’s Nick Harper reports.
Lawyers of 9/11 suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed try to get case dismissedLawyers for the accused mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. are trying to get his case dismissed. After five-years of arguments, a judge will now decide if a military court in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, can hear the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. CGTN's Nick Harper reports.
For more than ten years, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has been held at America’s most secure and secretive prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This week he returned to the prison’s court, Camp Justice, for the 23rd round of pre-trial hearings.
In the courtroom, where cameras are not allowed to record proceedings, lawyers debated when the war on terror began.
The defense argued the war didn’t start until a month after September 11th, when American troops entered Afghanistan.
It’s a central argument to the entire case, because if the judge rules in the defense’s favor, saying the 9/11 attacks happened outside of war time, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed cannot be tried here at Guantanamo’s court, which only has jurisdiction to try war crimes. But he can’t be tried anywhere else as the law forbids him from being tried in the U.S.
The evidence against him is also problematic. While in CIA custody, he confessed to orchestrating the September 11th attacks in 2001, as well as the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings, and the 1993 World Trade Center attack. But those confessions were made under so-called ‘enhanced interrogation techniques,’ like waterboarding, which has since been banned by the U.S.
Legally, that means those confessions may not be admissible as evidence. Human rights groups say that’s because such treatment taints any information obtained.
After over a decade in detention at Guantanamo, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other four 9/11 defendants continue to wait while the attorneys argue. Their defense teams expect the case to come to trial in 2020.