US government wants to kill Khalid Shaikh Mohammad: Lawyer

Published: May 6, 2012

In this courtroom drawing reviewed and approved for release by a US military security official, Khalid Sheik Mohammed consults defense attorney civilian David Nevin during a break. PHOTO: AFP

In this courtroom drawing reviewed and approved for release by a US military security official, Khalid Sheik Mohammed consults defense attorney civilian David Nevin during a break. PHOTO: AFP In this courtroom drawing reviewed and approved for release by a US military security official, Pentagon paid civilian defense lawyer Cheryl Borman, defending accused 9/11 co-conspirator Walid bin Attash, argues a point. PHOTO: AFP In this courtroom drawing reviewed and approved for release by a US military security official, Ammar al Baluchi, also known as Ali Abd al Aziz Ali, appears at his arraignment on May 5, 2012 at the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. PHOTO: AFP In this courtroom drawing reviewed and approved for release by a US military security official, Walid bin Attash appears at his arraignment on May 5, 2012 at the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. PHOTO: AFP n this courtroom drawing reviewed and approved for release by a US military security official, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed sits in court on May 5, 2012 at the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. P{HOTO: AFP

GUANTANAMO BAY: Khalid Shaikh Mohammad’s (KSM) lawyer David Nevin said the US government wants to kill his client to extinguish the last eyewitness to his torture.

Addressing a press conference on Saturday, a day after the arraignment hearing of KSM and the four co-accused at a military commission tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, Nevin said that the Obama administration had wanted the 9/11 case to be tried in a federal court, but could not do so due to political reasons.

“Four years later, we’re back here for political reasons,” he said.

Nevin also said that due to new rules implemented by the Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF GTMO) commander on December 2011, their ability to talk to their client on certain matters had been sharply reduced, adding that they could not talk to KSM about torture and, for example, historical perspectives on jihad.

Accused Walid Bin Attash’s lawyer Cheryl Bormann told reporters that she wore an abaya and head scarf in court on Friday because of out of respect for her client’s religious beliefs.

In response to a question on why she had raised an objection on one of the prosecution’s member’s attire, she said that one of them had been dressed in not keeping with her client’s religious beliefs, and that it was a distraction. Bormann said that she also dressed in an abaya and headscarf when she met with her client.

Earlier in court, Bormann had mentioned in court that Attash had scars on his arms which she believed were inflicted by the Guantanamo guards, said she had reason to believe that he has been mistreated in the camp.

James Connell, attorney for accused Ammar al Baluchi, said, “The accused participated in peaceful resistance to an unjust system. The accused refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the military commissions as demonstrated through their silence.  These men have endured years of inhumane treatment and torture. This treatment has had serious long-term effects and will ultimately affect every aspect of this military commission tribunal.”

Commander Walter Ruiz, counsel for the accused Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi, said that he believed Saturday’s proceedings at the tribunal went “terribly”. “We cannot accept assembly line justice,” he added.

Lawyers for the 9/11 co-accused said that they were expecting all of the motions pertaining to the case to be taken up on June 12, when the next hearing takes place at Guantanamo Bay.

Addressing the press conference, Chief Prosecutor Brigadier General Mark Martins said that they were taking a methodical approach, and that they would not be using evidence obtained by torture. Responding to a question, he said that the classification process in place was to protect some of the sources and methods.

“Regardless of the previous and ongoing vigorous and healthy debate, the rule of law now compels all of us to get behind the holding of these military commission trials, and other criminal trials, in all circumstances where we can hold them.”

‘You will never kill the American spirit’

Eddie Bracken, who lost his sister on September 11, 2001, in a press conference, addressed KSM, “This is America and you deserve a fair and just trial. You are in a military tribunal. Where is your leader OBL (Osama bin Laden)? Gone, dead, that’s right.”

He thanked President Obama for authorising the operation to kill Bin Laden, “I want you to know Sheikh Khalid Mohammad, on your last breath you may have killed my sister Lucy, but not her spirit. When your life comes to an end, and it will, you will never kill the American spirit. Let freedom ring.”

Reader Comments (10)

  • Cautious
    May 6, 2012 - 8:40PM

    Typical trash talk from attorney’s defending terrorist — nothing to say about their innocence but they spend their time complaining about superfluous things like how they want women in the court room to cover their heads etc.

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  • Bhindian
    May 6, 2012 - 8:56PM

    “You will never kill the American spirit” Yes no one can kill the cowardly spirit of killing innocent people by aerial bombing

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  • rob
    May 6, 2012 - 8:59PM

    why is this trial military to begin with and why are they not being conducted in a neutral country say switerland or something ? how can it be fair and impartial in an americam military tribunal ?

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  • Shyam
    May 6, 2012 - 9:41PM

    If US wanted to just kill him, he would have been dead by now. Remember OBL

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  • Tomas Martin
    May 6, 2012 - 9:48PM

    Although this defense lawyer states that the US Government wants to kill KSM, they fail to realize that the Government represents the people of the United States and I, along with many other Americans would like to see him tried, convicted and put to death as well. Fair trial or not. The Obama administration wanted to try this case in a federal court, but bowed to pressure to use a military tribunal. That being the case, anyone who kills Americans should be considered military combatants. I find it hard to understand why lawyers think that their clients deserve to have any kind of respect for their religious sensibilities toward the attire of women in the courtroom. Live by the sword, die by the sword. An eye for eye, so to speak. I read this story based on a strange headline, which I find odd to say the least after reading the story. It should read “The American people want to kill KSM” and that would be more accurate. The fact that these war criminals were tortured doesn’t change the fact that they brought a war to our shores and killed all of the people in NYC and the others on 911. Maybe we should also try Bush and Cheney for all of their participation after the fact in these events as well. But again, that is also a mute point in this case. Just sayin…This whole thing stinks. It should have been handled quickly and effectively to start with and justice served immediately. It’s been almost eleven years now. Why let it drag on?

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    May 6, 2012 - 11:38PM

    A terrorist will remain terrorist.

    I have no sympathy for any terrorist in the world.

    Humanity comes first.

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  • Sexton Blake
    May 6, 2012 - 11:56PM

    I think everybody knows this will be a kangaroo court designed to find the accused parties guilty. America lost all credibility under the Bush administration and continues to do so with every move they make. I still do not know what happened at 9/11, and apart from the people who perpetrated 9/11 I do not think anybody else does. I have watched several documentaries which analyze the various parts of 9/11, and this includes New York and the Pentagon in Washington. The documentaries make it quite clear that the 9/11 Commission Report, which was comprehensive in the number of words used, failed to explain several pertinent items which require answering. For example, a commercial aircraft supposedly crashed into the Pentagon. The highjacked plane in question cruised around the American countryside for a few hours, was tracked by radar, and then allowed to crash into the Pentagon, without American fighter jets getting even close. Of course, the Pentagon was bristling with CCTVs, and all the private CCTVs in the general vicinity were confiscated, but 11 years later we have not been shown any footage of a commercial aircraft crashing into the Pentagon. There are many other incidents from 9/11 which have not been satisfactorily explained, but would require a lot words. However, I think the Pentagon incident indicates that the prosecution should have problems, but I doubt if the difficult items will be allowed as admissible evidence. I note that a contributor has stated that one of the defense attorney’s was talking trash. Is it trash to say that the defense team have only limited access to their clients, and cannot discuss certain items due to restrictions placed on them by the Guantanamo Joint Task Force Commander? If we look at one detainee, K.S.M., he was not involved with Al Qaeda operational duties, but has been under arrest since 2003, and has confessed to master minding 9/11 under severe torture. I always thought that Osama Bin Laden was the mastermind. I think the 4 detainees should put their affairs in order. They are going to get a trial American style, and in all probability will finish up dead in a little while.

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  • May 7, 2012 - 12:00AM

    US government persecuting innocent people in full public view. The trial is taking place in a kangaroo court.

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  • MUSLIM PAKISTANI
    May 7, 2012 - 1:20AM

    @Tomas Martin:

    Why so wired up? An eye for an eye eh? Then shouldn’t the Pakistani government also carry out drone strikes over CIA headquarters for killing thousands of Pakistani civilians, five times more than 9/11? Oh wait, only self righteous AMericans have the right to complain, rage, kill and punish, third world people should comply and hand themselves over, no sensibilities no feelings, just a herd of sheep destined for occupation, rape and US sponsored terrorism.

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  • May 7, 2012 - 4:32AM

    The Military tribunals are a travesty period! I agree with all the points made by MUSLIM PAKISTANI, I would go further but I am not the President of Pakistan mores the pity! If I were I would call Obama and give him an Ultimatum on the following terms ” One more drone strike and Pakistan will nuke all your east Asia military establishments including the 5th fleet Deago Garcia, Bagram etc.! The ball is now in your Court Obama!

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