GUANTANAMO

Alleged 9/11 plotter ejected from Guantánamo court again

 
 
The accused Sept. 11 conspirators unfurled their prayer rugs during scheduled prayer breaks at their May 5, 2012 arraignment at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo. They are, from, Mustafa al Hawsawi, Ammar al Baluchi, Ramzi bin al Shibh, Walid Bin Attash,and Khalid Sheik Mohammad, shown in this sketch reviewed and approved for release by a U.S. military security official at the base.
The accused Sept. 11 conspirators unfurled their prayer rugs during scheduled prayer breaks at their May 5, 2012 arraignment at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo. They are, from, Mustafa al Hawsawi, Ammar al Baluchi, Ramzi bin al Shibh, Walid Bin Attash,and Khalid Sheik Mohammad, shown in this sketch reviewed and approved for release by a U.S. military security official at the base.
Janet Hamlin Illustration / JANET HAMLIN, SKETCH ARTIST

Similar stories:

crosenberg@MiamiHerald.com

The military judge in the Sept. 11 case ejected captive Ramzi bin al Shibh from court twice again Wednesday, both times at the alleged 9/11 plotter’s request in a continuing protest over prison camp treatment.

“This is torture! You have to stop the sleep deprivation and the noises,” the 41-year-old Yemeni defendant shouted as guards led him from a morning pretrial hearing that focused on attorney-client access for former CIA prisoners.

The episode was repeated after a lunch recess during testimony from Army Col. John V. Bogdan, a Military Police officer who functions as prison camp warden. Defense lawyers in the 9/11 death-penalty case were questioning the colonel about attorney-client access problems, and Bin al Shibh interrupted.

“I'm going to have to leave,” Bin al Shibh told the judge, Army Col. James L. Pohl. “The guy next to you, he is a war criminal.”

Bin al Shibh has for months complained that guards make noises in his cell to disrupt his sleep. His lawyers have argued that his sleep deprivation hampers his ability to meaningfully participate in his defense in these death-penalty proceedings against five men accused of orchestrating the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Prosecutors on the case deny the guards are doing anything to disrupt Bin al Shibh’s sleep. He’s housed at the Camp 7 prison for so-called high value detainees, a site so secret its location is classified.

Just a few minutes into Wednesday morning’s hearing, Bin al Shibh spoke out of turn and asked the judge, Pohl, to excuse him from the session. He complained that the problems were continuing.

“I have to leave,” he said, interrupting the judge. “I asked you to stop these vibrations.”

Wednesday afternoon, Bin al Shibh’s lawyer, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Bogucki, filed an emergency motion to address the allegation — and sought to let Bin al Shibh testify at the war court. Pohl gave case prosecutors the night to read the filing and respond in court Thursday morning.

If Bin al Shibh testifies, it’s unclear whether he would be allowed to do it in open court. As an ex-CIA prisoner, he spent years in the agency’s classified overseas prison network, being subjected to its secret Rendition, Detention and Interrogation program. In addition, Camp 7 is run by the top-secret Task Force Platinum and the military protects information about the lockup.

Bin al Shibh sat out most of Wednesday’s hearing in a holding cell equipped with a video feed of the proceedings, as he did Tuesday when he was also ejected twice for being disruptive.

At issue is Bin al Shibh‘s instance that he won’t acknowledge for the record his right to waive attendance at these pretrial hearings. So the judge has compelled his attendance in the war court only to have him removed as disruptive. Another alleged 9/11 conspirator, Ammar al Baluchi, voluntarily missed Wednesday’s session and was allowed to remain behind at the prison camps.

The other three alleged Sept. 11 plotters — Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Walid bin Attash and Mustafa al Hawsawi — sat quietly through Wednesday’s proceedings.

Read more Guantánamo stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category