GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, April 16 (UPI) -- U.S. Army Col. James Pohl, the judge overseeing the prosecution of five Sept. 11, 2001 terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, suspended preliminary hearings until Wednesday afternoon.
The delay was granted to allow defense teams to establish if any of their members were secretly contacted by U.S. law enforcement agencies seeking an informant. It came after it was revealed Monday that the FBI attempted to persuade a classification specialist on the defense team of co-defendant Ramzi bin al-Shibh to become an informant.
Pohl rejected the prosecution’s request that the hearings proceed as scheduled.
At issue is an FBI investigation of how a manifesto by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, alleged mastermind of the World Trade Center’s destruction, was given to media in January. Defense attorneys claim no classification restrictions were violated, and the FBI investigation of the defense lawyers has created a possible conflict of interest, preventing them from adequately serving their clients.
The defense teams of the five accused men contend they could not be certain other members of the teams were not approached by the FBI.