The army choose in the Sept. 11 case postponed this summer time’s hearings on Monday, citing a pending analysis of whether or not one of many 5 males accused of conspiring within the assaults is competent to face trial.
The choose, Col. Matthew N. McCall, stated in a four-page order that “it might be prudent” to delay case testimony and authorized arguments till September as a result of a panel of army psychological well being specialists was investigating the mental competency of Ramzi bin al-Shibh, who’s accused of being a deputy within the plot.
The panel has till July 14 to report its findings. Mr. bin al-Shibh’s legal professionals had argued that the defendant “can not take part in pretrial motions hearings whereas the difficulty of his psychological capability to face trial stays unresolved.”
The primary hearings in additional than a yr had been scheduled for July 3-21. Colonel McCall stated he would nonetheless journey to Guantánamo Bay for the week of July 10 for personal conferences with one other man accused within the plot, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, and his legal professionals. The topic of the talks just isn’t recognized, but court filings have shown turmoil inside Mr. Hawsawi’s authorized group.
Why It Issues: The case has been on maintain for greater than a yr.
Underneath the present court docket schedule, the boys accused of plotting the assaults won’t return to the conflict court docket till Sept. 18 — after the twenty second anniversary of the assaults by 19 males who hijacked 4 passenger planes on Sept. 11, 2001, and crashed them into the World Commerce Middle, the Pentagon and a discipline in Pennsylvania. Practically 3,000 individuals have been killed.
If the panel concludes that Mr. bin al-Shibh is unfit for trial, one focus of the autumn hearings might be whether or not prosecutors wish to name specialists to problem that discovering. Prosecutors have argued up to now that each one 5 males ought to be tried on the identical time to spare the households of the victims from a number of trials.
Background: Prosecutors need White Home assist for a plea deal.
Prosecutors initiated plea negotiations in March 2022 and have for greater than a yr sought a solution from the Biden administration on whether or not it helps sure assurances sought by the accused mastermind of the assault, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and his 4 co-defendants. Underneath the proposal, the boys would plead responsible to their roles within the assault in trade for a most sentence of life in jail, relatively than the opportunity of the demise penalty.
The defendants have requested to not be positioned in solitary confinement. They’re additionally requesting the institution of a civilian care program to deal with the consequences of their torture throughout the years they have been held in C.I.A. detention earlier than their switch to Guantánamo Bay in September 2006.
What’s Subsequent: Extra hearings, probably on a query of 1 defendant’s sanity.
Prosecutors wish to resume testimony from federal brokers on their interrogations of the 5 males at Guantánamo Bay in 2007. Protection legal professionals have been arguing in years of pretrial hearings that these interrogations are tainted by the torture of the defendants within the C.I.A.’s abroad jail community, and the F.B.I.’s collaboration with C.I.A. interrogators within the prisons, often called black websites.
If the panel of specialists finds that Mr. bin al-Shibh just isn’t sane sufficient for trial, the choose might additionally maintain a fact-finding listening to on what measures the army would possibly undertake at Guantánamo Bay to deal with him. Camp 5, the place the defendants are held, has a second-floor psychiatric ward, often called a behavioral well being unit, with a padded cell.