Accused Sept. 11 Mastermind and Alleged Conspirators to Get Joint Trial at Gitmo

A senior Pentagon official has authorized a Guantanamo trial for five men accused of plotting the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, including accused mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

On Wednesday, Retired Vice Adm. Bruce MacDonald approved the case against the men for a joint trial, report the Washington Post and Reuters. The Obama administration had sought to try the men in federal court in New York, but Congress refused to appropriate funds for the trial or for the men’s U.S. imprisonment.

Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, issued a statement criticizing the move. “The military commissions were set up to achieve easy convictions and hide the reality of torture, not to provide a fair trial,” Romero said. “Although the rules have been improved, the military commissions continue to violate due process by allowing the use of hearsay and coerced or secret evidence.”

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