Breaking Legal News - POSTED: 2009/01/20 16:37
Two of the five men accused of orchestrating the Sept. 11 attacks offered unapologetic admissions of guilt Monday in a sometimes chaotic — and possibly final — session of the Guantanamo war crimes court. The hearings, scheduled over several days, could be the last at Guantanamo, since President-elect Barack Obama has said he would close the offshore prison at the U.S. base in Cuba and many expect him to suspend the military tribunals and order new trials in the U.S.
Ramzi Binalshibh and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed architect of the terrorist attacks, casually admitted taking part in the attacks during a series of outbursts as the translators struggled to keep up and the judge repeatedly sought to regain control.
"We did what we did; we're proud of Sept. 11," Binalshibh announced at one point in proceedings that dealt with a number of legal issues, including whether he is mentally competent to stand trial on charges that carry a potential death sentence.
Mohammed, who is representing himself, switched back and forth between Arabic and English, insisting at one point that a uniformed military lawyer assigned to assist him be removed from his defense table. The man, he said, represents the "people who tortured me," he said.
Mohammed shrugged off the potential death sentence he faces for charges that include the murder of nearly 3,000 people in the Sept. 11 attacks.