Saturday, Nov 14th, 2009
The self-confessed mastermind of the September 11 terror attacks and four alleged co-conspirators are to be moved from Guantánamo Bay and tried in a civilian court in New York. The move was denounced angrily yesterday by victims’ relatives and Republicans on Capitol Hill.
The extraordinary announcement of the trial was made by Eric Holder, the Attorney-General, who said that he would seek the death penalty for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others when they face prosecution in a court in lower Manhattan.
The court sits a few blocks from where the twin towers collapsed after the 2001 attack and where nearly 3,000 people died. The trial will prove to be an enormous legal, political and popular test of President Obama’s methods of dealing with terrorism.
The cases will be beset by evidence problems, not least because Mohammed was tortured by the CIA soon after his capture in Pakistan. He was subjected to simulated drowning (waterboarding) 183 times in March 2003, making any evidence obtained from him then, and since, almost definitely inadmissible.
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This article was posted: Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 3:25 am