FT. MEADE, Md. -- A new round of pretrial hearings in the capital murder case of five Sept. 11 plotting suspects, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, opened Monday morning, even as a federal appeals court in Washington has now reversed the only other two convictions of Guantanamo Bay detainees tried in military tribunals.
All five men in the Sept. 11 case, after spending nearly a decade at the U.S. Naval base compound, have pleaded not guilty and in part of the new series of preliminary hearings this week their attorneys will demand more information about secret prison sites where their clients were first held abroad before being transferred to the Cuban facility.
They also hope to acquire new details about the prisoners’ harsh treatment, such as Mohammed’s repeated waterboarding, and plan to use that as evidence that their clients were tortured.
Military and Department of Justice prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, although the chief prosecutor, Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, tried to have a charge of conspiracy removed from the case. In a motion released Friday, he said there were “significant litigation risks” to trying all five with a joint conspiracy charge instead of separate conspiracy charges against some of them.