In GITMO this week another four days of pre-trial motions was scheduled in the proceedings against the five accused terrorists behind the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers.
On Tuesday, the court was recessed after just one hour, as it became evident that a defence team member had been “approached by a government agency.”
From American Forces Press Services (DoD) come this:
Military Commission Judge Mulls Probe of Defense Claim
By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service
FORT MEADE, Md., April 15, 2014 — The judge in the military commission proceedings for five suspects in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States called for a recess today to prepare an order allowing defense attorneys time to determine whether current or past defense team members were contacted by a government agency.
The proceedings began yesterday at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and a satellite feed here allows reporters unable to travel to Cuba to cover the case.
Court recessed today at about 11 a.m. when the judge, Army Col. James Pohl, said he will issue the order later today.
The order follows the defense team’s request this morning for an investigation after one of the defense attorneys disclosed yesterday that the FBI questioned a member of his team about the suspects.
Pohl told defense attorneys they have until 5 p.m. tomorrow to submit a request if they want the court to subpoena witnesses from agencies that have contacted past or existing defense members. Any information the defense teams find will be disclosed only to the lead defense counsel for each team, Pohl ordered.
“The lead counsel will use his or her professional judgment in bringing the issue to the judge,” explained Army Lt. Col. J. Todd Breasseale, a Defense Department spokesman.
The court order is to avoid a conflict with any nondisclosure agreement an agency might have required a member of the defense team to file, Breasseale said.
Pohl is considering a court investigation on agencies that contacted defense team members, based on requests from defense team members in today’s proceedings. Because of those requests, the judge told the defense teams to determine which witnesses they believe they need. As yet, there is no indication the judge will proceed with an investigation.
James Harrington, attorney for defendant Ramzi Binalshibh, told the court at the start of yesterday’s hearing that the FBI contacted one of his team members for information. He did not say why FBI agents recently questioned his defense team member, but said the individual handled classified evidence…. [emphasis mine]
Read more of this news report here.
Before the DoD article was published above, TIME.com had this:
FBI Tried to Recruit Member of 9/11 Plotters’ Legal Team, Lawyers Claim
April 14, 2014
The defense team for five men accused of planning and launching the Sept. 11 attacks, currently in pretrial hearings at GuantÃ¡namo Bay, alleges the FBI attempted to turn one of its lawyers into a confidential informant
At GuantÃ¡namo Bay, the wheels of justice turn not so much slowly, as seldom. Twelve and a half years after 9/11, the five men accused of planning and launching the attack are in pretrial hearings at a military tribunal there. On Monday, the tribunal held proceedings for the first time since December. Within minutes, the hearing recessed.
As the indefatigable Carol Rosenberg reports in the Miami Herald, Army Colonel James L. Pohl, who is the presiding judge on the tribunal, called the recess after lawyers for the accused terrorists said the FBI had tried to turn a member of the defense team into a confidential informant:
Defense lawyers alleged Monday that in at least one instance, two FBI agents enlisted a civilian on the defense team of accused plot deputy Ramzi bin al Shibh as a confidential informant.
The FBI declined several requests for a comment.
The development seemed to stun the chief prosecutor, Army Brig. Mark Martins, who told the judge, Army Col. James L. Pohl, that he was unaware of the FBI activity….
Nevins is his name, the LEAD attorney. So we won’t see him again, as he’s the one the FBI is investigating. So, Judge Pohl recessed for the day, no hearings, maybe I have no clue as to what will happen to the trial.
Disappointed, sad, frustrated….I don’t think I will get the chance to ever tell them about Keith, and let them know what they took from us.
The feeling of not having control of anything regarding this trial is overwhelmingly depressing.
Actually, since that day, we have had no control…13 years. I’m sure it will be all over the media.
Holder must be dancing in the streets, he’s really dancing on all their graves and the families hearts.
Diane is always emphatic, unwavering, in her praise and faith in the whole prosecution team.
Over time, she has shared with me details of the families’ various meetings and communications with the prosecution team, and I am truly in awe of the patience and the calm even-handedness of Judge Pohl as he navigates these pre-trial Hearings in the face of the tactics continuously thrown up by the defense attorneys.
It is obvious to me that the prosecution team that is diligently affording those terrorists before them all the rights of a fair and balanced trial, is always mindful of the losses of the families who daily face the brunt of the gaping holes in their hearts of their innocent sons, daughters, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, beloved family members, who were murdered on that day.
Sadly, it seems that most of the world, and indeed the majority of American msm, have forgotten the cost in human lives of that day. From what I can tell, most folks are not even aware that a trial is still going on. (Hell, most people don’t even know that we still have Troops in harms way in this Global War on Terror.)
Despite all that, I believe that it is imperative that every one of us pay attention. Every day we all need to remember the individual lives lost, the families – like the Fairbens and so many more, who expect JUSTICE to be served.
No, none that I know are naive enough to believe that a verdict ultimately rendered (GUILTY, of course) will bring back their loved ones.
However, I maintain my faith that there will BE American justice served and a price paid by those murdering terrorists who ripped apart the fabric of so many families.
Related link: Military Commission