Posted on Wednesday, 02.27.08
About the 9/11 war crimes trial
Mustafa Ahmad al Hawsawi, a Saudi, is alleged to have helped the hijackers with money, Western clothing, traveler's checks and credit cards. The ICRC says Pakistani authorities arrested him March 1, 2003 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Hawsawi served as a witness in the Zacarias Moussaoui trial, saying he had seen Moussaoui at an al Qaeda guesthouse in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in the first half of 2001, but was never introduced to him nor conducted operations with him.
Army Col. Stephen Henley at far left,
was the trial judge during the Bush administration effort. Army Col. James L. Pohl, the chief of the military commissions judiciary, to Henley's right, assigned himself to the case. Pohl is the most senior JAG in the U.S. Army and currently the only judge actively hearing cases at Camp Justice in Cuba.
A Miami Herald profile of the judge
The Sept. 11, 2001 military commissions conspiracy charges
Eight crimes are alleged in the 9/11 sworn charge sheet starting with conspiracy in the attacks, specifically with Osama bin Laden, other senior al Qaeda members and the Sept. 11, 2001 hijackers. They are also charged with committing murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, and providing material support for terrorism. Mohammed, bin Attash, Bin al Shibh and Baluchi are also charged specifically with hijacking four aircraft -- two that hit the World Trade Center towers in New York, the one that hit the Pentagon and the one that crashed in the western Pennsylvania countryside. According to the Pentagon, the attacks killed 2,976 people. Conviction can carry the death penalty by a method to be chosen by the Secretary of Defense.
The Tribunal Chamber
The Pentagon has built a $12 million Expeditionary Legal Complex with a snoop-proof courtroom capable of trying six alleged co-conspirators before one judge and jury. Media and other observers are sequestered in a soundproofed room behind thick glass, at the rear, and hear the court audio feed on a 40-second delay. The judge at the front and a court security officer have mute buttons to silence the feed to the observers' booth -- if they suspect someone in court could spill classified information. Pentagon workers have installed a curtain inside the spectators gallery to wall off victims, chosen by lottery, from the other observers at the back of the courtroom.
The chief war crimes prosecutor, Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, left, has named himself and 10 other prosecutors to the case. The lead 9/11 case prosecutors, or trial counsel, are retired Army Col. Robert Swann, formerly the Pentagon's chief prosecutor for military commissions and Edward Ryan, a civilian attorney with the Department of Justice. Both men had the case during the Bush era. Deputy trial counsel include Joanna Baltes of the Justice Department, Clayton G. Trivett Jr., a reserve Navy lieutenant commander and Jeffrey Groharing, a reserve U.S. Marine lieutenant colonel. The assistant trial counsel include Marine Maj. Joshua Kirk, Navy Lt. Kiersten Korczynski, Army Capt. Michael Lebowitz, Army Maj. Robert McGovern and Nicole Tate, a civilian.
Guantánamo prison spokesmen refuse to identify the hunger strikers. But the Justice Department has been notifying the attorneys of captives who have become so malnourished that they require forced-feedings. Attorneys for 13 of the men have, in turn, notified The Miami Herald of their identities.