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Plea discussions underway, removal of death penalty could be on the table in stalled 9/11 case

Prosecutors are debating a possible deal to resolve the long-running case of five men being held at Guantanamo Bay on charges of plotting and aiding and abetting the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. One defendant said Tuesday that it is in progress, a major development in a case that has been mired in pre-trial disputes at the US base in Cuba for almost a decade. All five, including the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 conspiracy, face potential death sentences if convicted by a military commission, although repeated delays and legal challenges have even made setting a trial date unclear. “Negotiated agreements are a way to end military committees, end indefinite detention at Guantanamo and provide justice,” he said. Alka Pradhan, a lawyer who is a member of the defense team of the accused Ammar al-Baluchi. Among the other defendants is Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, a senior al Qaeda operative who has portrayed himself as the architect of the plot. The government has resisted attempts to prosecute the men separately, and an earlier attempt to reach a settlement was rejected by former President Donald Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Some relatives of the people killed in the attacks were notified in an email that the prosecutor’s office had approached lawyers for the accused who offered to discuss objection agreements that would include the abolition of the death penalty as a possible punishment. Any agreement would require defendants to provide details about their roles in the plot and their sentences would be heard, according to the email, which was sent to families receiving notifications from the Defense Victim Outreach program. This program was created by lawyers for the accused to provide information about the case. The Office of Military Committees, which oversees the courts at Guantναnamo, declined to comment. media reports on discussions of the objection without confirmation that they were made or were made by the prosecution. The offer to debate, which came as legal groups gathered at the base for more hearings, was first reported by The New York Times and Lawdragon, a legal news site that has covered Guantanamo disputes extensively. Lawyer James Connell, also a member of al-Balouchi’s defense team, noted that the negotiations are part of many criminal cases. “This process is not unusual,” he said. “The vast majority of capital cases in the United States are resolved by objection.” The five defendants were indicted in May 2012 on war crimes charges including murder, terrorism and hijacking for allegedly plotting and providing financial and logistical assistance to the plot. killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. The trial has been largely marred by legal issues related to evidence that could be used against men who were held in secret CIA detention facilities and tortured after their arrest. He has also been repeatedly paralyzed by the pandemic and logistical difficulties of testing five men, all with separate US-based defense teams, at the inaccessible base at the southeastern tip of Cuba. President Barack Obama tried to take the case to federal court in New York, but reversed his course and kept it at Guantanamo because of political opposition. Family members of the 9/11 victims, who came to see the trial, expressed mixed views on the case, with some eager to see a trial at Guantναnamo and a possible execution and others calling for a speedy resolution. A group called 9/11 Family Members for Peaceful Tomorrows has long called for invocation agreements, expressing frustration with the slow pace of the process. Team member Terry Rockefeller said a resolution would allow defendants to testify in any other criminal or political case related to the attacks. “We are almost on the 10th anniversary and it is not only clear to us that a trial, if it were ever to take place, would take years, but it will take years to appeal,” said Rockefeller, whose sister, Laura, was killed at the World Center. Trade. In addition to the defendants in the 9/11 attacks, there are five other Guantanamo detainees facing trial by a military commission in cases that have also been marred by various stages of the trial. January 2002.

Prosecutors have begun discussing a possible deal to resolve the long-running case of five men being held at Guantanamo Bay, who are accused of plotting and aiding and abetting the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The debates, which a lawyer for a defendant said continued on Tuesday, are a major development in a case that has been mired in pre-trial disputes at the US base in Cuba for nearly a decade.

All five, including the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 conspiracy, face potential death sentences if convicted by a military commission, although repeated delays and legal challenges have even made the trial date unclear.

“The negotiated agreements represent a way to end military commissions, end indefinite detention at Guantanamo Bay and provide justice,” said Alka Pradan, a lawyer who is a member of Ammar al-Baluchi’s defense team.

Among the other defendants is Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, a senior al Qaeda operative who has identified himself as the plot’s architect. The government has resisted attempts to prosecute the men separately, and an earlier attempt to reach an agreement was rejected by former President Donald Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Some relatives of the people killed in the attacks were notified via email that the prosecution had approached the defendants’ lawyers, offering to discuss objection agreements that would include the abolition of the death penalty as a possible punishment.

Any agreement would require defendants to provide details about their roles in the plot and their sentences would be heard, according to the email, which was sent to families receiving notifications from the Defense Victim Outreach program. This program was created by attorneys for defendants to provide information on the case.

The Bureau of Military Committees, which oversees the courts at Guantναnamo, declined to comment.

A separate e-mail from a government-created victim information program acknowledged media reports of objection discussions without confirming that they were made or started by the prosecution.

The offer to discuss the appeals, which came as legal groups gathered at the base for more hearings, was first reported by The New York Times and the Lawdragon, a legal news website that has covered the Guantanamo trial extensively.

Lawyer James Connell, also a member of al-Baluchi’s defense team, noted that settlement negotiations are part of many criminal cases. “This process is not unusual,” he said. “The vast majority of capital cases in the United States are resolved by objection.”

The five were charged in May 2012 with war crimes involving murder, terrorism and hijacking for allegedly plotting and providing financial and logistical support to a plot that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

The trial has been largely marred by legal issues related to evidence that could be used against men who were held in secret CIA detention facilities and tortured after their arrest. It has also been repeatedly stopped due to the pandemic and logistical difficulties of testing five men, all with separate US-based defense teams, at the inaccessible base at the southeastern tip of Cuba.

President Barack Obama tried to take the case to the federal court in New York, but reversed the course and kept it in Guantanamo because of the political opposition.

Family members of 9/11 victims who came to see the trial have expressed mixed views on the case, with some wanting to see a Guantanamo Bay trial and execution and others calling for a speedy resolution.

A group called the 11th Family Members for Peaceful Tomorrows has long called for objection agreements, expressing frustration with the slow pace of proceedings. Team member Terry Rockefeller said a resolution would allow defendants to testify in any other criminal or civil case related to the attacks.

“We are almost on the 10th anniversary and not only is it clear to us that a trial, if it ever takes place, would take years, but it will also take years of appeal,” said Rockefeller, whose sister, Laura, was killed. at the World Trade Center. “And we believe that pre-trial agreements are the only way to take any measure of truth, justice and accountability.”

In addition to the defendants in the 9/11 attacks, there are five other Guantanamo detainees facing trial by a military commission in cases that have also been marred by various stages of the trial.

The United States has a total of 38 men at Guantanamo Bay, which opened in January 2002.

Plea discussions underway, removal of death penalty could be on the table in stalled 9/11 case Source link Plea discussions underway, removal of death penalty could be on the table in stalled 9/11 case

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