A pre-trial hearing for the charged conspirators in the Sept. 11 attacks moved ahead without some of them for at least one day. The proceedings went forward after three of the defendants, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Mustafa Ahmed al Hawsawi and Ali Abd al Aziz Ali, opted not to attend the military hearing in a motion accepted by the judge a day earlier.
About an hour was spent to confirm that the defendants who were absent from the day’s proceedings had been properly notified that the hearings would proceed without them. As the hearing began, part of it revolved around Mohammed’s request to wear camouflage – or specifically a “woodland patterned vest” – in court. Prosecutors argued against the request, citing concerns that included security risks because he may be mistaken for a soldier, and that the vest could be used as propaganda or a signal to other jihadists.
Countering, the defense said Mohammed should be permitted to wear the vest. They argued that Mohammed fought in Bosnia and in the Soviet-Afghan war as a member of “transitional militarized groups.” The judge, Army Col. James Pohl, granted the request that would allow Mohammed to wear camouflage.
Some of the hearing also dealt with handling of classified information before the judge heard from a lawyer representing several U.S. media outlets. The lawyer objected to the closed hearings saying that it was a violation of the public’s constitutional rights.
By 9/11 Memorial Museum Staff