Plotters of the September 11, 2001 attacks faced the court on Tuesday, September 7, in a pre-trial hearing held at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, a prison used by the United States to detain terrorists.
Attack mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, along with four other suspects, appeared in court, which was filled with prosecutors, interpreters, and five defense teams for Mohammed and co-defendants Ammar al-Balucchi, Walid bin Attash, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, and Mustafa al-Hawsawi.
The defendants could be sentenced to death, if found guilty.
New judge Lt. Col. Matthew McCall presided the hearing. McCall was supposed to handle the case a year ago but was ineligible due to lacking a two-year experience.
The prosecutors appointed him because a relatively-junior judge would lessen the risk of retiring in the midst of the proceedings.
McCall said that he wanted to “see action” after nine years of trials to progress with the case, as it has continued for a long time.
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