GUANTANAMO BAY -- Tuesday marked first day of trial proceedings at Camp Justice for the most recent session of pre-trial proceedings.
The pre-trial hearings for this case have been going on for years. Khalid Shaikh Muhammad (KSM), the man who is allegedly the mastermind behind September 11, and the other four men that are accused of playing key-roles in the attacks, were originally charged back in 2008. That process was put on hold when Barak Obama became president. Ultimately, all five of the accused were arraigned again in 2012.
Since then there have been dozens of pre –trial hearings. All 5 men are potentially facing the death penalty, but there has not been a date set for the actual trial that will determine their fate.
At this point, the war court sessions focus on details and issues the prosecution and defense teams have as they try to build their cases. For example, we sat down with the KSM’s attorney, David Nevin, who said his team wanted to start fresh because of information that was withheld about a secret prison or black site.
“A motion to disqualify the judge and to disqualify the prosecution team because of actions that they took in tandem to destroy a black site and to destroy that while there was a specific order that was still outstanding. We, the defense, were relying on that fact that the black site would not be destroyed without us getting further notice,” explained Nevin.
Another issue one of the defense teams brought up in court Tuesday, were the fact the documents they receive from the prosecution have words and phrases blacked out. The government argued the words need to be hidden for safety reasons and national security. However, defense attorneys said it makes it difficult for them to gather information from their clients because the do not have dates or names or places that alleged incidents happened.
Pre-trial sessions continue Wednesday at the Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay. DCW50’s Jasmine Norwood will be inside the courtroom. Follow her on twitter https://twitter.com/JasNorwood and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JasNorwood/ for updates from Cuba.