9/11 suspect ejected by Gitmo judge after CIA outburst
One of the men suspected of planning the September 11, 2001 attacks was twice ejected from a US military court on Tuesday after making outbursts about secret CIA prisons and torture.
Fort Meade: One of the men suspected of planning the September 11, 2001 attacks was twice ejected from a US military court on Tuesday after making outbursts about secret CIA prisons and torture.
Yemeni defendant Ramzi Binalshibh, who is accused of helping the hijackers enter the United States and of financing the airliner attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, also claimed that the judge hearing the case was biased.
Binalshibh was initially removed from the latest pre-trial hearing at Guantanamo Bay on that judge`s orders, having twice been warned that he would be in contempt of court if he continued to disrupt the proceedings.
His departure came shortly after his lawyer suggested that guards were using sleep deprivation tactics at the US military prison in notorious Camp Seven, where Binalshibh is detained.
"He could not sleep at all last night because of the noise he is exposed to," said Navy Lieutenant Commander Kevin Bogucki. "He is too tired to pay attention."
The latest hearing for the alleged 9/11 plotters, who are eventually expected to go on trial in 2015, was screened for reporters at the Fort Meade military base in Maryland, via a closed-circuit feed.
Commander Bogucki said Binalshibh`s cell was continually subjected to banging and knocking sounds -- an allegation the US government denies, but which the judge said had not been proven either way.
Having been granted a 15-minute recess to discuss whether Binalshibh understood his right to be present at today`s hearing, the suspect refused to cooperate with Judge James Pohl.
"I refuse to answer this question as long as the judge is taking a position against me and against my allegations," Binalshibh said, before beginning apparently impromptu claims about US treatment of terror suspects across the globe.
After being warned that it was not his time to speak, the Yemeni suspect, whose alleged crimes include helping the hijackers find flight schools in the United States, cited the words "secret CIA prison" during a muffled speech.
Judge Pohl then told Binalshibh he would be removed if he did not stop talking, but the suspect continued and US military guards were instructed to take him to the court`s holding cell.
The courtroom camera cut away from Binalshibh while he was being taken out of court, seconds after the judge said he "taken no position" on Binalshibh`s allegations.
All five suspects, including the self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, were present at today`s hearing, dressed in traditional white Arab robes and with several of them wearing desert-coloured combat jackets.
Following the lunch recess, Binalshibh returned to the court and was given a second opportunity to acknowledge his rights but he again refused and was removed by guards a second time, amid shouts of "I am not a war criminal".