Sunday, May 6, 2012

9/11 trial focused on torture


The defence lawyers for those accused of planning the September 11 attacks insist that their clients trial is a opportunity to investigate claims of mistreatment and torture.

The second attempt to prosecute the self-proclaimed mastermind of the September 11 attacks and four men accused of helping orchestrate the plot got off to a rough start on Saturday, with the defendants disrupting their arraignment and forcing the proceedings to drag on late into the night.
At a news conference on Sunday morning, defence lawyer James Connell called the actions of the defendants a "peaceful resistance to an unjust system" following years of torture.
"These men have endured years of inhumane treatment and torture. This treatment has had serious long-term effects and will ultimately infect every aspect of this military commission tribunal," he said.
Mr Connell, who represents defendant Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, said the government has tried to eliminate the mention of the use of torture from the trial and he said he is committed to revealing what he claims is evidence his defendant and others were mistreated.
Cheryl Bormann, a civilian defence lawyer for accused 9/11 co-conspirator Walid bin Attash, said her client has scars on his arms from alleged mistreatment at the hands of the government.

"We're hoping to address that while in the courts and hoping to get a fair hearing on that," said Ms Bormann.

Saturday was the defendants' first appearance in more than three years after stalled efforts to try them for the attacks, in which hijackers steered four commercial jets into the World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and a western Pennsylvania field. Nearly 3,000 people were killed.

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