5 Apr 2011

9/11 accused to have military trial

7:22 am on 5 April 2011

The alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four accused co-conspirators will be tried in a military commission at Guantanamo Bay, the United States government has announced.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has been held by the US since being captured in Pakistan in 2003, the BBC reports.

In a 2007 hearing, he alleged that he had been tortured at Guantanamo Bay. CIA documents confirmed that he had been subjected to the waterboard technique 183 times.

In announcing the decision, US Attorney General Eric Holder repeated his belief that federal courts are the best place to prosecute terrorism suspects.

But he said the government's hands were tied by Congress, which in December adopted restrictions on prosecuting Guantanamo prisoners in civilian courts.

Mr Holder said the United States still intends to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay.