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US military judge denies request to delay trial of accused 9/11 conspirators

[JURIST] US military judge Col. Ralph Kohlmann [JURIST news archive] Thursday denied a request by military-appointed defense lawyers to postpone the arraignment of the five Guantanamo Bay detainees charged with plotting the Sept. 11 attacks [JURIST news archives]. The lawyers had asked for more time to mount defenses for their clients, but the arraignments are still scheduled for June 5 [JURIST report]. If convicted, the five men, including the alleged lead conspirator behind the attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], could be sentenced to death [JURIST report]. The International Herald Tribune has more.

Mohammed's military defense lawyer, US Navy Capt. Prescott Prince, expressed concern about the fairness of Mohammed's trial [JURIST report] in an April interview. He added that the trial's legitimacy could be undermined if the government introduces into evidence statements Mohammed made while he was being subjected to harsh interrogation tactics, including waterboarding [JURIST news archive].

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