Gitmo Judge Reportedly Says Trial of 5 Defendants for 9/11 Attacks at Least 1 Year Away
© AFP 2023 / WILLIAM J. HENNESSYThis courtroom sketch screened by US Military officials on September 7, 2021 shows accused September 11, 2001 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (R) along with co-defendants Ramzi bin al-Shibh (L) and Walid bin Attash (C) appearing for a pretrial hearing at the military commission's court at the US naval base in Guantanamo, Cuba, on September 7, 2021.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The trial of five Guantanamo Bay detainees for their involvement in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States is not expected to begin for at least for another year, New York Times reported on Monday citing the new judge in the case, Col. Matthew McCall.
The pretrial hearings for the five detainees accused of plotting and executing the terrorist attacks opened last week at the Expeditionary Legal Complex at Guantanamo Bay.
McCall said the trial is at a minimum of at least one year away, the report said.
The judge also said military commission regulations, the Air Force bar and ethical obligations did not bound going to trial by a particular timeline.
The most high-profile defendant of the five is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who, according to the US government, was the central figure in the attacks. Mohammed was a member of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terror group (banned in Russia) and reportedly directed the group's propaganda operations from 1999-2001.
11 September 2021, 10:25 GMT
McCall rejected the challenges of defendants - Walid bin Attash and Ramzi bin al-Shibh - questioning his qualifications given that he had not read all the filings and court records.
On September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda terrorists crashed two hijacked commercial planes into the World Trade Centre in New York, while another plane hit the western part of the Pentagon near Washington, DC. The fourth hijacked aircraft fell down near the city of Pittsburg in the state of Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks.