Guantanamo Bay hearing stalls over legal row

Guantanamo Bay

A pre-trial hearing for five Guantanamo Bay 9/11 suspects stalled yesterday when one of them asked how to represent himself in the death penalty case.

Walid bin Attash, a Yemeni accused of running an al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan, told his attorneys he no longer trusted them and asked the court how he might represent himself.

“We have so many problems in the camp that take precedence over anything we are discussing here in the court,” bin Attash said through an interpreter before the judge, Army Colonel James Pohl, silenced him due to security concerns.

After speaking to him in private, bin Attash’s lawyer, Cheryl Bormann, said: “He feels like he has no relief from the torture and that everything is orchestrated by the United States government here.”

Pohl is awaiting more information from government attorneys before ruling on bin Attash’s request.

Bormann has complained about violations of attorney-client privilege at the prison in Cuba. She has cited bugged meeting rooms and an episode when guards seized legal documents from bin Attash’s cell.

Almost 3,000 people were killed when hijackers slammed airliners into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field on September 11, 2001.


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