War court

Pentagon prosecutors seek Sept. 22, 2014 trial date for 9/11 case

 

Pentagon prosecutors are proposing that alleged mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed’s Sept. 11 terrorism trial start at Guantánamo on Sept. 22, 2014.

In a June 14 filing at the war court, recently unsealed, a case prosecutor asks the trial judge, Army Col. James Pohl, to set deadlines for future motions and hold month-long instead of one-week hearings to resolve pretrial issues in the death-penalty case.

The prosecutor, Clay Trivett, also predicted in the filing that the trial, before a panel of U.S. military officers at Guantánamo’s Camp Justice, would last between six and eight weeks.

Mohammed and four other men are accused of orchestrating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed 2,976 people. Pohl has held four pre-trial hearings, each for about five days, plus the marathon day-long Saturday arraignment of the give men on May 5, 2012.

The hearings have tackled disputes over rules for handling classified evidence, allegations of eavesdropping and whether the accused would be allowed to don paramilitary attire at trial. Lawyers on both sides have also argued motions over the legal basis for the war court itself, called military commissions, which was created by President George W. Bush and reformed by President Barack Obama.

Defense lawyers oppose the timetable. One of them, Navy Cmdr. Walter Ruiz, told the Associated Press Thursday that even a June 2015 date would be “ambitious.”

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