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Inside Story
Will the 9/11 suspects receive a fair trial?
As the detainees question the legitimacy of the court, we ask if real justice will be served by the military tribunal.
Last Modified: 07 May 2012 08:55

"They are trying to make it legal that's why it's taken so long … but given the background, given the context I don't think anything anybody can do will give these people [a] fair trial."

- Richard Weitz, a director at the Center for Political-Military Analysis, Hudson Institute

Some are calling it the most important military tribunal since the Nuremberg trials in 1945, when an international military tribunal tried Nazi officials for war crimes.

The self-proclaimed mastermind of the September 11 attacks in the US, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four others accused of terrorism, have appeared before a military tribunal in Guantanamo Bay.

The trial got off to a chaotic start, with the defendants refusing to acknowledge the judge and their lawyers repeatedly questioning the legitimacy of the court.

The US has gone to great lengths to rebrand the trial process, tightening the rules of evidence and restricting the use of hearsay, leading many to question whether the men can receive a fair trial.

"If you are a sample state calling for human rights around the world and we watch you really messing with all the legal tools and means … how do we know which side you're on? Let's put the question to the US government."

- Najeeb Al-Nuaimi, a former Qatari justice minister

So, can the Guantanamo trial deliver real justice? And how will al-Qaeda supporters respond to the proceedings?

Joining Inside Story with presenter Teymoor Nabili to discuss this are: Richard Weitz, a senior fellow and director at the Center for Political-Military Analysis at the Hudson Institute; Jeremy Corbyn, a British member of parliament for the Labour Party, the chair of the parliamentary human rights group and chairman of the Stop the War Coalition; and Najeeb al-Nuaimi, a former Qatari justice minister and a former defence lawyer for several Guantanamo Bay detainees, who also runs the Arabian Gulf Forum for Human Rights.

"For example under European conventions it would not even be possible to put somebody on trial after they've been tortured and held in detention for, in some cases, 10 years."

Jeremy Corbyn, a British member of parliament


FACTS: Guantanamo military trial

  • Five suspects in the 9/11 attacks are being tried by a military tribunal
  • The five suspects are: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Waleed bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi
  • Charges include 2,976 counts of murder, hijacking and conspiracy
  • The prosecution is seeking the death penalty for all five men
  • Defence lawyers criticised the process, saying the men were tortured while in US custody, and are questioning the legitimacy of the process
Source:
Al Jazeera
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