News / USA

9/11 Suspects Get New Hearings at Guantanamo

Luis Ramirez
Another round of pre-trial hearings is set to get under way next week at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay  in the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-confessed mastermind, and four other suspects accused in the September 11th,  2001 attacks.

More than 11 years after the attacks, the case drags on in a Guantanamo Bay naval base courtroom.  

The proceedings are best characterized by the defiance and antics displayed by alleged ringleader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the four other suspects -- accused of nearly 3,000 counts of murder.

At their arraignment in May, the suspects ignored the judge, had an outburst, and one of them began undressing in front of the court.  

This set of hearings will have the defense trying to get the charges thrown out -- on the argument that the proceedings are illegitimate.  Defense attorneys want former U.S. President George W. Bush and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to be called as witnesses -- to testify on their role in ordering alleged torture and establishing the prison at Guantanamo Bay.

Jennifer Daskal, a Georgetown University law professor who has been vocal on the Guantanamo proceedings, says the suspects’ antics would likely not have gone so far if the case were being tried in a U.S. federal civilian court.

“The judge and the participants, they’re bending over backwards to make it appear as if the system is fair. And so, in a situation like that, the judge, it appears to me, is giving the defendants way more leeway than you would ever see in federal court where judges would just shut those kinds of antics down in an instant,” Daskal said.

The U.S. government’s decision to hold the trial at Guantanamo Bay and keep detainees imprisoned there has sparked protests among American anti-war activists.

President Obama promised to close it down, but did not.

Daskal was among those calling for closure of the facility when it first opened.  But she has since changed her mind.

“There are no more tortures going on in Guantanamo, and conditions have improved significantly. The thing that we’re left with is detention without charge, and, in the current political and legal climate, closing Guantanamo is not going to change that.  Closing Guantanamo simply means moving some core subset of Guantanamo detainees to some other place where they’re detained without charge and most likely in much worse conditions,” Daskal said.

It is not clear whether the five defendants will show up for these hearings.  

But a few relatives of some of the nearly 3,000 victims will be there -- as they have been since the start of the proceedings.  For them, the wait for justice continues.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs