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9/11 attack mastermind on trial

05-06-2012 10:04 BJT

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The self-proclaimed mastermind of the September 11th attacks and four other suspects have appeared in a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, home to a US detention facility for suspected terrorists. The five suspects are charged with the worst terror attack in US history. If convicted, they could face the death penalty.

The arraignment marks the second time the US has tried to prosecute the 9/11 suspects. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his four co-defendants have been held in a classified section of Guantanamo under tight security. Their charges include 2,976 counts of murder.

Accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed consults defense attorney civilian
David Nevin, a learned counsel, during a break at his military commission hearing
in this courtroom sketch reviewed and approved for release by a U.S. military
security official, at Guantanamo Bay Navy Base, Cuba, May 5, 2012.

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 Pentagon said the defendants have been provided counsel with specialized knowledge and experience in death penalty cases.

Accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed consults defense attorney civilian
David Nevin, a learned counsel, during a break at his military commission hearing
in this courtroom sketch reviewed and approved for release by a U.S. military
security official, at Guantanamo Bay Navy Base, Cuba, May 5, 2012.

However, the hearing quickly bogged down as the men engaged in what appeared to be a concerted silent protest against the proceedings. About a dozen family members of those killed in the Sept 11 attacks, and nearly 60 media representatives were allowed into the naval station in Guantanamo Bay to watch the proceedings. Several viewing sites in the US have also been arranged to show the proceedings to victims' families and media members by closed-circuit television.

Family members of the 9/11 victims pose for a photograph at U.S. Naval Base
Guantanamo Bay, where they came to witness the arraignment of five prisoners
accused of plotting the September 11 attacks, May 5, 2012.

The arraignment for the five comes more than three years after President Barack Obama's failed effort to try the suspects in a federal civilian court and close the Guantanamo prison.

In December 2010, the US Congress adopted restrictions on prosecuting Guantanamo prisoners in civilian courts. The five suspects were referred to the Pentagon last April, for trials in military tribunals.

 

Editor:Bai Yang |Source: CNTV.CN

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