A week at Camp Justice finds proceedings slowed by illness, disputes, and legacy of torture
Julian Borger in Guantánamo Bay
Sat 2 Feb 2019
A Pentagon-approved sketch showing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed speaking with the lead defence lawyer, David Nevin. Photograph: Janet Hamlin Illustration/AP
A courtroom door opens in Cuba and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, walks in with a uniformed guard holding each shoulder.
As he takes a chair and begins chatting with his lawyers, the man known almost universally as KSM is unrecognisable from the chubby, bleary-eyed fugitive in a white T-shirt shown in the famous photograph of his arrest almost 16 years ago.
His head is shaved and covered by an Afghan wool hat, and he has grown an extensive thick beard dyed orange with henna, which sprawls out over his white robe.
After his 2003 capture in Pakistan he was held and tortured in secret CIA “black sites” in Afghanistan and eastern Europe for three years, before being flown to Guantánamo Bay, the US military enclave in south-east Cuba.
The base is now the venue for military tribunal hearings into 9/11 – arguably the biggest criminal case in US history, in terms of its 3,000 murder victims, the breadth of the investigation and its political significance. But nearly seven years after they began, those hearings are only inching forward.
Categories: The Muslim Times