DoD refers charges against 9-11 suspects to military commission

The US Department of Defense (DoD) referred charges to a military commission on April 4 against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other alleged 9-11 conspirators being held at Guantánamo Bay. Mohammed, along with Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin ‘Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi, have been charged pursuant to the Military Commissions Act of 2009, and are accused of conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, destruction of property in violation of the law of war, hijacking aircraft and terrorism. The men could face the death penalty if convicted.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) executive director Anthony Romero criticized the US government for referring the case to a military tribunal and stressed the importance of due process:

The Obama Administration is making a terrible mistake by prosecuting the most important terrorism trials of our time in a second-tier system of justice. Whatever verdict comes out of the Guantanamo military commissions will be tainted by an unfair process and the politics that wrongly pulled these cases from federal courts, which have safely and successfully handled hundreds of terrorism trials.

A military judge will be assigned by the Military Commissions Trial Judiciary to preside over the case and the men will be arraigned at Guantánamo.

From Jurist, April 4. Used with permission.