A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Alleged 9/11 conspirators postpone offers to plead guilty at military commission hearing

[JURIST] Three out of five Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], the self-proclaimed architect of the 9/11 attacks [JURIST report], on Monday postponed their offers to plead guilty to the charges against them after the judge required competency hearings for two of the suspects. The five defendants indicated at a military commission pre-trial hearing on Monday that they wished to plead guilty [JURIST report] to the charges relating to the 9/11 attacks. The judge, Army Col. Stephen Henley [DOD biography, PDF], initially accepted the requests from three of the suspects - Mohammed, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Walid bin Attash - but ruled that competency hearings were required [CNN report] for Mustafa al-Hawsawi and Ramzi Bin al-Shibh. Mohammed, Ali, and Attash then withdrew their offers to plead guilty until the competency of al-Hawsawi and al-Shibh is determined.

Henley was assigned to the Mohammed trial last month, following the retirement [JURIST reports] of Marine Col. Ralph Kohlmann [JURIST news archive]. The Pentagon approved death penalty charges against Mohammed and the four other suspects in May, and they were arraigned [JURIST reports] in June. In February, CIA Director Michael Hayden publicly acknowledged [JURIST report] that Mohammed had been subjected to waterboarding [JURIST news archive] during interrogation.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.