Col. James Pohl Began the hearing Tuesday at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba by asking each suspect if he understood he had the right not to attend the proceedings and Ramzi bin al-Shibh complained about his treatment in CIA prisons and at the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay, Courthouse News Service reported.
Al-Shibh has often used the question as an opening to complain about his treatment, CNS said.
On Tuesday, al-Shibh would not give a yes-or-no response when asked if he understood his rights, but spoke in English and Arabic about "secret CIA prisons" and "torture." Military police encircled him and escorted him out of the court at Pohl's command.
As he was escorted out of the hearing room, al-Shibh said, "You are a war criminal, judge."
Al-Shibh and his co-defendants, including self-professed "mastermind" Khalid Sheik Mohammed, could be sentenced to death if convicted of terrorism, mass murder and hijacking charges.
Near the end of the session Tuesday, one of the defendant's attorneys requested a 10-month pause in proceedings and another requested a 90-day freeze, CNS said.
Throughout the process, defense attorneys have said they need time to catch up with the government's investigation during the three years their clients spent in CIA prisons. The attorneys also cited defects in the proceedings.
Attorney General Eric Holder had tried to transfer them to the Southern District of New York, but that attempt was abandoned after the political hue and cry over trying the five men mere blocks away from the former World Trade Center.