Al Jazeera News, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba :
Defence lawyers representing detainees held at the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison have called for recusal of a newly appointed judge over possible conflict ..." /> Logo
12th-Sep-2018

Defence lawyers in 9/11 case seek dismissal of new judge

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Al Jazeera News, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba :
Defence lawyers representing detainees held at the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison have called for recusal of a newly appointed judge over possible conflict of interest and bias.
Marine Colonel Keith A Parrella was appopinted to the military court, where defendants, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is accused of masterminding the September 11 attacks, are facing trial.
The 44-year-old judge took over late last month after the previous judge, Army Colonel James L Pohl, who had overseen the case since the trial began six years ago, suddenly retired.
Mohammed's lawyer David Nevin on Monday cited Parrella's lack of relevant experience or familiarity with the case, potential conflicts of interest from previously serving in the Counterterrorism Section of the US Department of Justice, and a probable new military posting starting next year as sufficient grounds for the judge's dismissal.
Lawyers for two other defendants joined the motion for the judge's recusal,  
with one arguing Parrella revealed implicit bias by admitting to "shock and anger" on 9/11, combined with his military service.
In his opening statement at the hearing, Parrella seemed unfazed by the criticisms. "I'm qualified in accordance with (the military's requirements), and we're moving ahead," he said, later agreeing to consider their motion overnight. Tuesday marks the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in the United States. The five men accused of planning the attacks, including Mohammed, are yet to face trial.
Since the suspects were arraigned in 2012, pre-trial hearings have progressed slowly and no trial date has been set.