American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON – The Defense Department has referred charges against five suspected 9/11 co-conspirators to a military commission, Pentagon officials announced today.
The charges allege that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi were responsible for the planning and execution of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.
The convening authority -- DOD’s Office of Military Commissions -- referred the case to a capital military commission, meaning the five accused could be sentenced to death if convicted.
In keeping with reforms in the Military Commissions Act of 2009, officials said, each has been provided, in addition to their detailed defense counsel, learned counsel with specialized knowledge and experience in death penalty cases to assist in their defense.
The five are charged with terrorism, hijacking aircraft, conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, and destruction of property in violation of the law of war. The convening authority has referred all charges to a joint trial.
Officials emphasized that the charges are only allegations that the five accused have committed offenses punishable under the Military Commissions Act of 2009, and that they are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
In accordance with military commissions rules and procedures, the chief judge of the Military Commissions Trial Judiciary will assign a military judge to the case, and the five accused will be arraigned at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, within 30 days after they’re served with the referred charges.