The new military judge presiding over the 9/11 Guantanamo bombings trial said on Wednesday he would not rush the end of the case but wanted to see it of “movement” after nine years of hearings.
Col. Matthew McCall told the court at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba that he would not bar lawyers for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men from arguing that rights some of the defendants had not been respected because they had been tortured by the CIA.
TO?? just days of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by al-Qaeda, he told lawyers, defendants and families of victims that “this case has been going on for a really long time.” TO”. “I don’t feel any pressure to go to trial,” he said, as the defense worries about possible interference Politics. But “I’d like to see some movement,” he added.
Gary Sowards, one of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s attorneys, asked Matthew McCall about his own 9/11 reaction, his experience reviewing prisoner files in Iraq, and his opinion on the issues surrounding the five-man trial.
“This is a political trial,” Sowards said, claiming that the US state had used its means to cover up the torture of the defendants on the secret CIA sites before they arrived in Guantanamo. “The consequences of torture are still there,” he added. “Their major asset is national security and state secrets,” he said of military prosecutors.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his co-defendants Ammar al-Baluchi, Walid bin Attash, Ramzi bin al-Shibh and Mustafa al-Hawsawi were all in the room. They are accused of terrorism and the murder of 2,976 people in the attacks.
The judge explained that as a military lawyer he reviewed Iraq detainee files in the 2000s, before they were handed over to the Iraqi justice system. Most were not guilty of serious crimes and deserved to be released, he said. But he said he was not responsible for those of them who were put to death by the Iraqis, and those who remained in detention despite the lack of evidence. against them.
The military judge said the death penalty was “a valid option” in the 9/11 case. Matthew McCall intends to spend the remainder of the week in meetings with the prosecution and the defense.