Kuwaiti Khalid Sheikh Mohammed sat before a U.S. military judge for the first time on Thursday with four accused co-conspirators in a Guantanamo war crimes trial that could end in their execution.
Kuwaiti Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four co-defendants entered the courtroom willingly and did not have to be forced out of their cells to attend the hearing, as some defendants in earlier hearings have been, a spokeswoman for the trials said.
Before officially opening the proceedings, the judge, Marine Col. Ralph Kohlmann, warned that he would cut the audio feed to the glass-walled spectators' section of the courtroom if necessary to prevent observers from hearing potentially secret information .
Reading from a carefully prepared script, the judge will ask them whether they are satisfied with the U.S. military lawyers recently assigned to defend them. Their lawyers are expected to waive formal reading of the charges and defer entering a plea until they've had more time to prepare.
Prosecutors want to start the trial on Sept. 15, a date the defense says was chosen to influence the U.S. presidential election in November.
All five suspects, who could be executed if convicted, were transferred to Guantanamo in September 2006 after spending about three years in secret CIA prisons.
The CIA has acknowledged interrogating Mohammed using a simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding and condemned as torture by human rights observers.
Defense lawyers have said they will challenge any attempt to introduce evidence tainted by abuse.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Haziran 2008, 08:33