GITMOSpecial Reports from Guantanamo Bay
The 26th round of pre-trial hearings for Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the accused orchestrator of the Sept 11th attack, and four other accused conspirators will begin Monday at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.
The 26th round of pre-trial hearings for Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the accused orchestrator of the Sept 11th attack, and four other accused conspirators will begin Monday at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.read more
FORT MEADE, Md.– A military judge denied a Guantanamo detainee’s attempt Thursday to remove his defense counsel, ending two weeks of legal sparring that derailed the trial of accused 9/11 plotters.
Col. Judge James Pohl ruled that Walid bin Attash, suspected of aiding hijackers in the September 2001 attacks, couldn’t give good cause as to why his attorney of the past four years, Cheryl Bormann, should be dismissed from the pre-trial proceedings underway at the military commission on Guantanamo Bay and simulcast at Fort Meade.
“Based on what you told me yesterday you have failed to meet that burden at this time,” said Pohl in his ruling to bin Attash. “I will not terminate Ms. Bormann’s representation of you.”
Bin attash is on trial with four other charged 9/11 planners, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, who is said to be the mastermind behind the attack.
The ruling prevented a further headache for the years-long military tribunal. Bin Attash originally stymied these latest proceedings by requesting his rights to self-representation. One week later, after advice from his counsel, Bormann, bin Attash backed off self-representation, in favor of firing and replacing her. He said he can no longer trust Bormann’s defense.
Bin Attash, bearded, dressed in a beige jacket and taqiyah, calmly accepted Pohl’s ruling, but requested advice on what he could do if his defense team filed a motion or took some other action that he disagreed with. Pohl attempted to brief bin Attash on his rights but realized sorting out the legal complications would likely have to wait until the next scheduled hearings in December.
“It’s just not a simple yes or no answer,” Pohl said. “We’ll come back to it.”
The government fought in court to learn bin Attash’s reasons for wanting to fire Bormann, which were divulged to the judge in a closed hearing Wednesday afternoon.
“The accused [bin Attash] suddenly decided to drop on this commission a week or so ago a complete derailment of matters which will affect the speed of the case going forward,” prosecutor Ed Ryan said. “… it affects everything in this courtroom and it certainly affects the United States of America.”
Bormann, who wears a black abaya out of respect for bin Attash’s Muslim faith, said sharing that information – why bin Attash wanted to dismiss her — would negatively impact her client.
“They really don’t have a dog in this fight,” said Bormann of the government’s wish to hear bin Attash’s reasons. “The government’s interference and request for knowledge about what may or may not have transpired during that [discussion] is not appropriate.”
The sharing of classified information has been an albatross for the court. For example, the commission has struggled to determine what information, especially classified documents, can be shared between detainees and their defense teams.
“We have so many problems in the camp that take precedence over anything that they are discussing here in court. We are still in the black sites,” said Bin Attash, speaking directly to judge Pohl through a translator.
Testimony will continue for one more day on Friday and then will resume in December after an extended recess.
The alleged planners of 9/11 can’t seem to get past the pre-trial phase due to the confusing nature of the military commissions court. It will be awhile before the actual trial begins.
The alleged planners of 9/11 can’t seem to get past the pre-trial phase due to the confusing nature of the military commissions court. It will be awhile before the actual trial begins.read more
First day of pre-trial proceedings against the alleged 9/11 planners hits surprising snag.read more
With President Obama renewing his vow to close detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Medill News Service traveled to the base and photographed the abandoned Camp X-Ray detention center. The military used Camp X-Ray from 1994 to 1996 to house...
GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA – Camp X-Ray received the first prisoners in the War on Terror in January 2002. Suspected al-Qaida and Taliban fighters arrived shackled wearing orange jumpsuits, blackout goggles and face masks. They were on their way to eight by eight cube cells...
GUANTANAMO NAVY BASE, CUBA -- The July commission hearings for accused war criminal Abd al Hadi al Iraqi halted abruptly this week after the defendant decided he did not trust his assigned Pentagon Lawyers. Not a single one of the motions set to be argued was resolved...
GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba — On hold again: The Pentagon's latest attempt to move forward with a military commission for an Iraqi detainee was abruptly canceled when the judge found that the accused's defense attorney, Marine Lt. Col. Sean Gleason, was also involved in...
This isolated U.S. Navy base has many facilities and services beyond the camp for alleged terrorist detainees. One is a radio and TV broadcast facility holding more than 22,000 reel-to-reel and vinyl records, valued at as much as $2 million.
Efforts to move forward with pre-trial hearings for an Iraqi accused of killing American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan were delayed due to a series of legal mix-ups.
It has been more than 3,000 days since alleged al-Qaida commander Abd al Hadi al-Iraqi was transferred to the U.S. military’s detention facility here. And new complications this week have further tangled the web of his already Gordian war-court proceedings and will extend his stay at least two more months.
Normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba will not immediately impact the American naval base at Guantanamo, officials said this week. In other words, for now, it’s business as usual.