Saturday, April 4, 2015

Gitmo Trial of Top Five Started, Delayed, Pending Restart

The Place

Inside the Courtroom
(artist's view)

The trial of the five men accused in the 9/11 terrorist attacks (currently facing trial) resumed on February 9, 2015 at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But, then it was then abruptly halted. Defendants protested that one of the court interpreters at the hearing had been present years before at secret sites where the men had been held and, where they claim they had been tortured. The judge (Judge James Pohl) ordered a recess to look into the matter.

Background: The five are accused of conspiring to organize, train, transfer funds to the 19 hijackers in the 9/11 plot, and each is charged with killing 2,976 people. Among all the charges: Conspiracy, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, murder in violation of the law of war, destruction of property in violation of the law of war, hijacking or hazarding a vessel or aircraft, and terrorism.

If convicted, each faces the death penalty.

(1)  Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) (born in Kuwait to Pakistani parents), alleged mastermind.
(2)  Ramzi bin al-Shibh (Yemeni), a plotter.
(3)  Walid bin Attash (Yemeni), co-conspirator.  
(4)  Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi (Saudi), paymaster and facilitator.  
(5)  Abi Abd al-Aziz Ali (Iranian) (aka: Ammar al-Baluchi, nephew of KSM), computer technician and funder.

Some Gitmo detainee numbers as of March 27, 2015:

  • Total number of detainees ever incarcerated at Guantánamo: 780.
  • Detainees released under President Bush: over 500.
  • Detainees at start of Obama Presidency: 242.
  • Detainees transferred, repatriated, or resettled under Obama: 116.
  • Detainees transferred to U.S. for prosecution: 1.
  • Detainees who died in custody since January 2009: 4.
  • Detainees currently held at Gitmo: 122.
  • Number of current detainees imprisoned for more than 10 years: 106.
  • Remaining detainees approved for release: 56.
  • Detainees convicted by military commission and still held at Gitmo: 3.
  • Detainees designated for trial or commission: 29 (Note: Pentagon has plans to prosecute 14 detainees, including those currently in pre-trial hearings).
  • Detainees designated for indefinite detention without charge or trial: 34.
  • Yemenis approved for transfer: 48 (33 held in “conditional” detention, pending improved security in Yemen, or transfer to a third country).
  • Number of countries that have accepted detainees: 55.
 More good data at the link. Thanks for stopping by. More later, I am sure. Come back.

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