New 9/11 trial judge steps down, citing conflicts

Colonel Stephen F. Keane, U.S.M.C., the new judge for the five men accused of planning the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has quit after only weeks on the job, reports Carol Rosenberg for the New York Times. He was assigned to the case on September 17, 2020.

He wrote that he had “a significant personal connection to persons who were directly affected by the events of 9/11.”

He stated that he has family who were in NYC on September 11, 2001, he was raisedin the Bronx and NJ, has a relative who is retired from the FDNY, and served as judge on a case involving allegations of torture at Guantánamo. He also spent a year working in counterterrorism at the Justice Department, working with lawyers who were prosecuting the case.

Further delays in the trial are now inevitable.

U.S. Army Colonel Douglas K. Watkins, who has been a caretaker for the case, will assign a new judge.

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