9/11 pretrial hearings to begin at Guantanamo Bay

October 14, 2012 9:14:40 PM PDT
An alleged mastermind in the September 11 attacks will go before a U.S. military judge Monday in Guantanamo Bay.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is one of five men accused of orchestrating the 2001 terror attacks. After several delays, he will be back in court along with four accused co-conspirators -- Mohammed's Pakistani nephew, a Saudi and two men from Yemen.

The pretrial hearings that begin Monday are expected to focus on how much secrecy the government will be allowed to impose at trial. It's been a slow process with many delays.

This set of hearings has been delayed several times. Defense attorneys complained of mold and rat-infested offices, the defendants were given time to observe the holy month of Ramadan and then came Hurricane Isaac.

The topic that continues to come up: interrogation methods used early here at Guantanamo.

"Torture matters because, quite frankly, America is better than this," said Capt. Jason Wright, Mohammed's attorney. "Other counsel has explained the legal relevance as to why it's important for this case, why it's part of the mitigation case, why we have an obligation as defense attorneys to tell the history of our clients."

"I have said that no statement under the Military Commissions Act obtained as a result of torture or cruel treatment or coercion is admissible. That's true," said U.S. Prosecutor, Brig. Gen. Mark Martins. "That refers to the prosecution's case against an accused. That is not to imply that there can be no addressing by the military commission of evidence of mistreatment."

This is a complicated legal case with unprecedented circumstances. We'll be in the courtroom Monday as the case inches forward.

Eyewitness news reporter Christine Dobbyn will be in Cuba this week covering the trial. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter for updates.


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