Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four co-defendants were arraigned Saturday in Guantanamo Bay as the United States makes a second attempt to try them in the Sept. 11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.
The Obama administration originally wanted the trial in New York City, but backed off from that decision under political pressure. Now the lengthy trial will be held at Guantanamo Bay in a newly built courtroom under a military commission versus a federal court. New rules will dictate the military commission which is different than standard court martial proceedings and civilian courts.
Yochi Dreazen, senior national security correspondent for the National Journal, and Victor Hansen, New England Law professor, will join The Daily Circuit Thursday to talk about the case.
More from the Associated Press:
Defense lawyer James Connell said a tentative trial date of May 2013 is a "placeholder" until a true date can be set for the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the attacks, and his co-defendants.
"It's going to take time," said the chief prosecutor, Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, who said he expects to battle a barrage of defense motions before the case goes to trial.
Saturday's arraignment lasted 13 hours, including meal and prayer breaks, as the accused appeared to make a concerted effort to stall the initial hearing, which didn't end until almost 11 p.m.
"Everyone is frustrated by the delay," Martins said on Sunday. He noted that the civilian trial of convicted Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui took four years, and he pleaded guilty in 2006 before being sentenced to life in prison.
On Saturday, Mohammed and his co-defendants refused to respond to the judge or use the court's translation system and one of the men demanded a lengthy reading of the charges. Connell called the tactics "peaceful resistance to an unjust system."
The arraignment, Connell said, "demonstrates that this will be a long, hard-fought but peaceful struggle against secrecy, torture and the misguided institution of the military commissions."