The case was referred as a capital case (meaning the accused could be sentenced to death if convicted) for all five individuals. Mr. MacDonald has made the decision to "refer," which means to send the case to a panel of at least twelve members, whose function is analogous to jurors in a federal or state court. The case was also referred as a joint trial, meaning that all five of the accused will be tried together, unless the military judge later determines that any or all of the accused should be tried separately.
We will seek to arraign the accused individuals in front of a military judge at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, within 30 days of service of the referred charges as required by law. At this hearing, the charges will be read, and the accused will be asked to enter pleas to the charges. The military judge may also set a timeline for the parties to provide required discovery, establish due dates for filing legal motions, and schedule additional pre-trial hearings.
The US has formally sent to trial five suspected al-Qaeda militants believed to have planned the 9/11 terror attacks. The five Guantanamo Bay inmates, including alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, will be tried by a military commission.
They will face charges including terrorism, hijacking, conspiracy, murder and destruction of property. They could face the death penalty if found guilty, the Pentagon confirmed.
A total of 2,976 people died in the attacks.
The decision to refer the charges to a military commission comes after a legal wrangle over where the five men would face justice.
The Obama administration initially tried to move their trial into US civilian courts, but reversed its decision in April 2011 after widespread opposition.
My only comment on this, "IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME!" Let them fry.