U-turn leaves Guantanamo Bay 9/11 trials in disarray
TERRI JUDD SATURDAY 12 JANUARY 2013
The Guantanamo Bay trials are in such disarray that nobody may ever be convicted of the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington, it emerged today.
The US military base’s chief prosecutor, Brigadier General Mark Martins, announced this week that he had asked the Pentagon to drop conspiracy charges against the five men awaiting trial for their part in the 2001 atrocity. The U-turn comes in the wake of an appeal court overturning one existing conviction and looking set to do so for another. Speaking to The Independent, defence lawyers insisted the prosecution was refusing to admit the severity of the move, which they say could fatally undermine the case against five men accused of orchestrating the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon – as well as weakening all previous convictions.
“It is a much bigger deal than they are making it out to be,” said Cheryl Bormann, a lawyer for defendant Walid bin Attash. “It is going to make their case far more difficult to prove.” She added that demonstrating intent to murder was far more challenging than proving conspiracy.
Along with lawyers for Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi and Ammar al-Baluchi, Ms Bormann insisted that it would make it harder to convict those accused of supporting roles.
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