Amazingly, sixteen years after Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, five of the accused terrorists who are still held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba are still awaiting trial which isn’t expected until at least 2019.
Some of the family of the victims in the attacks of that day say they don’t expect to see a trial completed in their lifetimes.
The five men on trial were arrested in Pakistan in 2002 and 2003, and for some periods were held in undisclosed CIA detention facilities. Among them is Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the attacks.
The most recent example of the complexity of the process is a newly unsealed document in which the Pentagon prosecutor asked the military judge to set jury selection for the first week of January 2019, according to the Miami Herald.
The prosecution also asked the judge to impose a four-week deadline by which the defense would have to submit all “legal motions,” something the defense called “impossible.” The judge, Army Col. James L. Pohl, seemed inclined to agree with the defense.
One of the snags in the system is the fact that Guantanamo Bay has only a single courtroom and that is being used for the pretrial hearings for the 2000 USS Cole bombing, which preceded the 2001 9-11 terrorist attacks.
Now, the prosecution is calling for construction of extra office space and additional holding cells to hold the six defendants. The prosecution is also wrestling over the death penalty in the case as this will necessitate the use of a top-secret courtroom.
Defense attorneys will argue against a death penalty citing the accused long confinement, the sleep deprivation and alleged torture of their clients.
To read the entire article from The Washington Examiner, click here:
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