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U.S. to screen 9/11 hearings for first respondents

05-04-2012 05:58 BJT

WASHINGTON, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Some 400 to 600 first responders to the 9/11 terror attack sites will watch as five alleged conspirators, including the man who allegedly conceived and designed the attacks, face arraignment at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Pentagon officials said on Thursday.

First responders to the 9/11 terror attack sites, including police, fire, paramedics and other emergency workers, will be able to view military commissions proceedings since Saturday from a site specifically set up for their use, Wendy Kelly, chief of operations for the Office of Military Commissions, told American Forces Press Service.

She said viewing sites for victims' families and members of the media have been in place for previous proceedings, but first responders until now have had no access to closed-circuit television coverage of courtroom proceedings.

The new site, at Fort Hamilton of the New York city, is the result of collaboration between the Defense Department and the New York City government, she said, adding city officials are in charge of inviting eligible attendees for this weekend's proceedings. This weekend arraignment involves Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his four codefendants. Mohammed is accused of obtaining approval and funding from bin Laden for the attacks, overseeing the entire operation and training the hijackers in all aspects of the operation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The overall charges allege that the five accused are responsible for the planning and execution of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 resulting in the killing of 2,976 people. If convicted, they could get death penalty.

Sites available for family members of 9/11 victims to view proceedings are located in Boston, New York City, northern New Jersey and the Washington D.C. area. An additional site is available near Norfolk, Virginia for survivors and families of the victims of the USS Cole attack on Oct. 12, 2000 that killed 17 U.S. sailors and injured 39 others.



Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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