31 May 2011

9/11 defendents held at Guantanamo to be tried by military tribunal

Five men accused of planning and supporting the 9/11 attacks may at long last get their day in court. But instead of facing a criminal trial in the United States, they would be put in front of a military tribunal on Guantanamo, according to the New York Times.

The Department of Defense's Office of Military Commissions last night sent letters to the family members of 9/11 victims explaining the decision to refer charges against the defendents, the first step in a process that is expected to lead to a military tribunal proceeding. And this morning, the office issued a press release.

One of the last things Beverly Eckert did before her death was to join with other family members who lost loved ones in terrorist attacks who were meeting with President Obama. She wrote a letter to the president expressing her belief that the one way to ensure swift justice under the rule of law for the 9/11 defendents was to bring them to trial in the United States. She was never able to take part in the debate which arose around the issue, because she died a few days later. A partisan outcry by Republicans was instrumental in stopping President Obama's plan to bring the alleged plotters to trial in the United States.

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