US Military Cancels Terror Suspect Hearing
Legal proceedings against the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks have been put on hold in the wake of the recently-released US Senate torture report.
MOSCOW, December 16 (Sputnik) – A pretrial hearing of the men suspected of masterminding the September 11 attacks has been cancelled by the US military in Guantanamo Bay on Monday, a week after last Tuesday's publication of the Senate Intelligence Committee report summary on CIA torture practices.
A defense lawyer for the men told Reuters that the report's revelations cast doubt on CIA evidence presented by the prosecution: 'The most significant revelation from the Senate report is the conclusion based on entries into the CIA record that many of the statements the CIA made are simply lies,' Jim Cohen said, adding that evidence from the agency could be thrown out of court as a result.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, along with four others, is accused of having masterminding the attacks on the Twin Towers, and is one of those listed in the Senate report has having been tortured under the CIA interrogation program. Among its findings, the 524 page report details that Mohammed was subjected to torture practices including so-called 'insult slaps, walling, water dousing, and additional waterboard sessions.'
Reuters reports that the hearing by the US military commission in Guantanamo Bay was supposed to be held in order to discuss allegations that the FBI attempted to make contact with the legal teams representing the suspected terrorists, and that no reason was given by the Pentagon for its cancelation.
On Monday James Mitchell, the retired air force psychologist who helped the CIA develop its 'enhanced interrogation techniques,' confirmed to Vice News that he was part of team who waterboarded Mohammed. He maintained that valuable evidence was obtained using the agency's torture practices. However, Mitchell acknowledged that 'there were some abuses that occurred,' and said he was one of the interrogators described in the report who reported to the CIA's inspector general about 'abuses' and the use of techniques not authorized by the Justice Department.
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