Accused disrupt the US military court for 9/11 case,00.html


FIVE alleged 9/11 plotters who were to appear before a judge at Guantanamo Bay disrupted the US military court yesterday.

Relatives of victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks, who were at Guantanamo Bay, called on the US Government to keep the controversial camp and military commission system.

The five accused, including alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, refused to attend the hearing, the BBC reported.

The judge rejected prosecution calls for them to be compelled to attend but three did appear after a two-hour delay.

Walid bin Attash, Ali Abdul al-Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi entered the courtroom. But Mr al-Hawsawi asked to leave after he was refused the opportunity to speak.

He was escorted out by military guards.

Mr bin Attash asked the judge whether he could question a witness. When told he could not, he asked: "Even if he told lies?" When the judge insisted he could not question the witness, Mr bin Attash replied: "This is good justice!"

Yesterday's hearing was meant to focus on whether Mr Hawsawi and another defendant, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, were mentally competent to represent themselves.

The military lawyer representing Mr bin al-Shibh said he suffered from a delusional disorder.

When the lawyer went into detail about how he had been deprived of sleep, her microphone was cut off by a censor.

"The government can't hide the fact that they used sleep deprivation," she said before the audio feed outside the courtroom was cut. The audio is on a 40-second delay that allows a security officer to block material believed to be classified.

The prosecutor later said Mr bin al-Shibh's complaints of sleep deprivation could be explained by the diagnosis that he suffers from delusions.

The September 11, 2001 attacks, in which hijacked planes were flown into buildings in New York and Washington, killed nearly 3000 people.

The Obama administration has yet to announce how the five defendants will be tried or where they will be held if Guantanamo Bay is closed by January.

US President Barack Obama has ordered a halt to military commissions at Guantanamo Bay but preparations continue for military trials.

Nine relatives of September 11 victims witnessed the controversial war court after a tour of the Navy base. The family members were chosen randomly by the Pentagon from a list of relatives who wanted to attend.