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Army Spokesman: Guantanamo 9/11 Hearing Cancelled

  • Reuters

FILE - A U.S. soldier stands in the turret of a vehicle with a machine gun, left, as a guard looks out from a tower at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, March 30, 2010.

FILE - A U.S. soldier stands in the turret of a vehicle with a machine gun, left, as a guard looks out from a tower at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, March 30, 2010.

Court officials cancelled a two-day pretrial hearing for suspects in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on Monday at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a U.S. Army spokesman said.

The hearing, intended to examine allegations the FBI tried to infiltrate legal defense teams, according to a docket on a Pentagon website. It would have been the first such proceeding since a U.S. Senate report on CIA torture was released last week.

No reason was given for the cancellation.

Judge James Pohl, an Army colonel, ruled in July that no conflict of interest arose for defense attorneys from the FBI approaching a security officer for a defense team. The allegations surfaced in April, further delaying a complex, slow-moving case.

Lawyers for accused Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other suspects want Pohl to determine the extent of FBI contact with defense team members.

Mohammed and fellow Sept. 11 suspect Ramzi Binalshibh were among prisoners who underwent torture by the Central Intelligence Agency, according to the report by the Senate Intelligence Committee released on Tuesday.

The report on the CIA interrogation program implemented after the Sept. 11 attacks said Mohammed was subjected to waterboarding, or simulated drowning, “rectal hydration” and sleep deprivation.

The 2001 attacks using hijacked airliners killed almost 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. The defendants face possible death penalties if convicted.

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