Just heard from a 9/11 family member, our friend Sgt. Tim Sumner of 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America, who received the following e-mail from the Office of Military Commissions concerning jihadi Khalid Sheik Mohammed and others at Gitmo:
“….today, April 4, 2012, Bruce MacDonald, the Convening Authority for Military Commissions, referred to a military commission charges against five detainees for their alleged involvement in the 9/11 attacks: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin ‘Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi.
“The case was referred as a capital case (meaning the accused could be sentenced to death if convicted) for all five individuals. Mr. MacDonald has made the decision to “refer,” which means to send the case to a panel of at least twelve members, whose function is analogous to jurors in a federal or state court. The case was also referred as a joint trial, meaning that all five of the accused will be tried together, unless the military judge later determines that any or all of the accused should be tried separately.
“We will seek to arraign the accused individuals in front of a military judge at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, within 30 days of service of the referred charges as required by law.”
Tim adds that family will have closed circuit access to the proceedings at select, secure locations.
A senior Pentagon official Wednesday approved the death penalty trial at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four co-defendants who are accused of orchestrating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, a step that restarts the most momentous terror trial likely to be held at the military base.
A military commission trial of the five men began under the Bush administration, but it was stopped by the Obama administration as part of its failed effort to close the detention center at Guantanamo.
The five defendants were first charged in 2008, and the case was suspended after Obama came into office. Those charges were formally withdrawn in early 2010 as part of an administration plan to move the men to New York for trial in federal court.
That effort collapsed in the face of congressional and local opposition. In April 2011, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced that he was reluctantly sending the case back to the military.
Justice delayed is justice denied. Holder’s Department of Injustice doles out the blame while the jihadis thumb their noses.
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