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Lawyers Defend Accused Terrorists’ Courtroom Behavior

Courtroom drawing shows Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (C) and co-defendant Walid Bin Attash (L) attending a pre-trial session in 2008 in Guantanamo Bay. (AFP PHOTO/POOL/ Janet Hamlin)

Courtroom drawing shows Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (C) and co-defendant Walid Bin Attash (L) attending a pre-trial session in 2008 in Guantanamo Bay. (AFP PHOTO/POOL/ Janet Hamlin)

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NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — The men accused of plotting the September 11th attacks were not trying to disrupt court proceedings on Saturday, according to their attorneys.

The  arraignment was prolonged by courtroom antics that included one suspect removing his tunic and exposing his bare chest, comparing American guards to dead Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, and Khalid Sheik Mohammed refusing to listen to, or answer questions.

“The accused refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the military commissions as demonstrated through their silence,” said Defense Attorney James Connell.

WCBS 880′s Paul Murnane reports


Victims’ family members called their behavior as a slap in the face CBS 2′s Drew Levinson a different story.

“How they perceive themselves and how the lawyers are perceiving them, Yeah hurtful, hurtful because they have no remorse. I don’t think they have any souls to tell you the truth,” said Eddie Bracken, who lost his sister in the attacks.

The men were arraigned nearly eleven years after the World Trade Center was destroyed, and many of the victims’ families feel that they have waited too long for justice.

But the military says that the trial is being handled by the book.

“Justice in every society is patient, methodical, patient. Determined but patient,” said Brig Gen Mark Martins, the Chief Prosecutor.

Still, other families said that they are willing to wait for justice, as long as it is served.

“I think people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, if they could come back and tell him that we killed fifty children, he would have said wonderful. He would have said we praise Allah, I say damn you,” said Lee Hanson, a victim’s father.

The defendants will be back in court in the summer.

Was the behavior of the defendants an intentional slight to the victims’ families, or an attempt to disrupt court proceedings? Let us know in our comments section below…