Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
At a hearing Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan rejected a request by defense lawyers. They’d sought to call Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as a witness at the terrorism trial of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith.
Saajid Badat, a 34-year-old United Kingdom resident, is expected to testify all day Tuesday by video hookup from London. He refuses to testify in the United States because he faces terrorism charges in Boston that could send him to prison for life.
Military installations in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maryland are welcoming families of 9/11 victims this week to watch pretrial hearings at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for five men charged in the terrorist attacks.
The hearings set to begin Monday are closed to the public, but victims’ families were invited to watch the proceedings via closed-circuit television.
Retired Deputy Fire Chief Jim Riches, who lost his son on 9/11, is spending the day watching the proceedings via closed circuit at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn along with about three-dozen other families.
“These are the guys that murdered my son, I want them to get justice,” FDNY Deputy Chief Jim Riches said. “For me, the proper punishment for them would be the death penalty and I hope that’s what they get.”
In January 2009, President Barack Obama banned the use of waterboarding, but that controversial torture technique is now being credited with leading to the death of Osama bin Laden.
Files from Guantanamo Bay reveal terrorists were taught bridge destruction methods and that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told an underling to cut the cables on the Brooklyn Bridge.
The location of Mohammed’s trial has been the subject of intense debate. Many wanted him tried in lower Manhattan, others expressed concern about costs and security of holding such a high-profile terror trial here.
The Justice Department probably will never receive congressional approval to put the alleged Sept. 11 conspirators on trial in a civilian court, a key senator on the issue of terrorism trials said Sunday.
Cuomo told reporters Friday he would “advocate forcefully” to keep the Sept. 11 terror trial out of New York state altogether.
Cuomo addressed the matter in a radio interview Thursday, a day after Attorney General Eric Holder said the Obama administration was close to deciding where to prosecute Khalid Sheik Mohammed.
The attorney general suggested since last spring that a decision was near, telling a House subcommittee in March that he thought the administration was just weeks away from making a determination.