Legal proceedings against five Guantanamo Bay prisoners charged in the September 11, 2001, attack should go forward, a military judge ruled Tuesday, rejecting a bid to put the case on hold until the Pentagon resolves concerns about computer network security.
Army Col. James Pohl said the steps announced by Pentagon officials to address concerns raised by the defense are adequate to keep pretrial hearings moving for the five prisoners charged with orchestrating the terrorist attack.
The defendants are facing trial by military commission at the U.S. base in Cuba on charges that include nearly 3,000 counts of murder, terrorism and hijacking for their alleged roles planning and aiding the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil. They could face the death penalty if convicted.
Pohl heard three days of testimony in August at Guantanamo Bay about security fears that prompted defense lawyers to stop using government e-mail and servers for confidential legal work. Lawyers said data disappeared, and e-mails went astray or were improperly sent to the prosecution.
The next round of pretrial hearings is scheduled for the week of Oct. 21. A trial date has not been set.