Alleged 9/11 plotters' hearing after Ramadan

July 17, 2012 at 10:57 AM
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GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, July 17 (UPI) -- The next round of hearings for accused conspirators in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States will be after Ramadan, a judge ruled.

The chief war court judge Monday ruled to postpone until after Ramadan the next hearings in the death penalty case of the alleged Sept. 11 plotters, agreeing to a request by attorneys for the plot's self-proclaimed mastermind Khalid Mohammed and his co-defendants to respect their religion, The Miami Herald reported Tuesday.

Army Col. James Pohl Rather said the hearings would be Aug. 22-26 instead of Aug. 8-12, which is when the holy Muslim month is winding down, Pentagon defense attorney James G. Connell III said.

Also Monday, lawyers for Canadian prisoner Omar Khadr were at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to brief him on their latest effort to win his repatriation, the Herald reported. The attorneys filed suit Friday with a Canadian federal court seeking an judge's order to compel Public Safety Minister Vic Toews to move forward with a repatriation plan.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta cleared Khadr for release in April, but Toews hasn't presented Khadr's lawyers with his plan to bring the Toronto-born, 25-year-old home to finish an 8-year sentence.

Under the diplomatic agreement, Khadr pleaded guilty to war crimes in October 2010 and could serve one more year at Guantanamo before being moved to Canada to finish his sentence. Canada, however, hasn't formally sought his return.

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