The alleged conspirators of 9/11 will appear before a military judge at Guantanamo Bay tomorrow in an historic moment since the attacks eleven years ago.At select viewing sites in the U.S., the Pentagon has decided to allow closed-circuit televised screenings of the Guantanamo Bay proceedings, which begin with an arraignment on Saturday.
Army Colonel James Pohl, the judge, issued an order to make viewing sites available “due to the serious nature of the crimes alleged and the historic nature of military commissions,” reports Carol Rosenberg at the Miami Herald.
Four U.S. military installations on the East Coast will screen courtroom coverage for victims family members and survivors. The bases near Boston, New York City, Washington D.C., and in northern New Jersey, are all located in areas where the the most number of victims’ families reside.
A separate site at Fort Meade, Maryland, will allow members of the media to view the proceedings.
Business Insider will be present in the form of our contributor Jonn Lilyea, a retired platoon sergeant and avid military blogger who writes for BI Military & defence. He received approval from the Pentagon to represent BI at Fort Meade and he’ll be providing his insight into what happens this Saturday.
Another site at Fort Hamilton, N.Y, has been approved specifically for first responders who served on 9/11. It’s the first time emergency workers have been invited to view the proceedings surrounding the alleged terrorists who coordinated the attacks killing nearly 3000 people.
Ultimately, hundreds of people will watch Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-confessed mastermind, and four other men hear the charges referred against them: terrorism, hijacking aircraft, conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, and destruction of property in violation of the law of war.
Following the arraignment, a trial might not begin until a year from now, reports Bloomberg.
But tomorrow marks the start of an important episode in U.S. history, after initial military court proceedings were cancelled in 2008 due to an attempt to move the men to a civilian trial in federal court, where they would have faced a jury.
The case of “United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin ‘Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi” will now move forward once again in the military commissions system.
The Department of defence announced last month that the five alleged suspects could be sentenced to death.
We’ll bring you Jonn Lilyea’s account of the proceedings tomorrow as soon as we can.
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