Sept. 11 defendants can sit out Gitmo hearings

BEN FOX Associated Press Published:


The five men charged in the Sept. 11 attacks could be making their last public appearance at a hearing at Guantanamo Bay for some time.

A military judge says the defendants do not have to attend the rest of a pretrial hearing scheduled through this week at the U.S. base in Cuba.

Army Col. James Pohl didn't rule out requiring them to attend future sessions. He said they will have to be in court for their trial, which is at least a year away.

Defense lawyers said Monday that forcing their clients out of their cells and into court is traumatic for men subjected to what they call torture.

Prosecutors had argued that the men must attend all sessions of the special military tribunal.