Guantánamo

Lawyer’s accident trips up 9/11 case at Guantánamo

The flag flying over a portion of the war court complex, Camp Justice, as seen through a broken abandoned air hangar window at the U.S. Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on Feb. 28, 2015, in an image approved for release by the U.S. military.
The flag flying over a portion of the war court complex, Camp Justice, as seen through a broken abandoned air hangar window at the U.S. Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on Feb. 28, 2015, in an image approved for release by the U.S. military. crosenberg@miamiherald.com

A judge says the Guantánamo war crimes tribunal can’t go forward without a defense lawyer who broke her arm.

The court convened Wednesday at the U.S. base in Cuba for several days of pretrial motions in the case against five prisoners charged in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. It was to be the first Guantánamo court session under President Donald Trump.

But the military judge ruled he can’t go forward with a hearing on 33 motions without a defense lawyer, Cheryl T. Bormann, who fell and broke her arm over the weekend in Washington. The lawyer is one of the specially trained capital lawyers required for each team, called a learned counsel.

Army Col. James Pohl, the judge, ruled the court could go ahead with the deposition of an 84-year-old man whose family was killed on 9/11 on Friday but put off legal motions until next month. A consortium of news groups had appealed to the judge to take the testimony in open court, and lost.

  Comments