Quarantine Threatens to Again Delay Sept. 11 Proceedings in Guantanamo

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Politics|Sept. 11 lawyer successful quarantine aft yet different microorganism lawsuit threatens to hold Guantánamo Bay proceedings.


Camp Justice astatine  Guantánamo Bay successful  Cuba, seen connected  Aug. 29, is wherever  subject   commissions are held for detainees of the United States who are charged with warfare  crimes. 
Credit...Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Carol Rosenberg

  • Sept. 2, 2021Updated 6:15 p.m. ET

GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — A cardinal defence lawyer successful the long-delayed Sept. 11 attacks proceedings was successful quarantine Thursday aft helium was exposed to the coronavirus, perchance mounting backmost the efforts erstwhile again.

Guantánamo, a basal of 6,000 residents that sits down a Cuban minefield, has managed to forestall an outbreak of the microorganism done quarantine, investigating and closures.

But Walter Ruiz, the defence attorney, was with his client, a Saudi prisoner, Mustafa al-Hawsawi, for 90 minutes connected Wednesday erstwhile guards abruptly ended the meeting. Mr. Ruiz and Mr. Hawsawi were wearing masks, but a aesculapian authoritative ordered Mr. Ruiz confined to his quarters due to the fact that idiosyncratic who sat adjacent him connected a Navy level to the basal connected Tuesday was infected. Mr. Ruiz, who tested antagonistic earlier and aft his arrival, was to beryllium tested again connected Friday.

At contented is whether helium would beryllium released from quarantine successful clip for a closed league Saturday astatine Guantánamo’s courtroom betwixt the judge, Air Force Col. Matthew McCall, and lawsuit lawyers. Prosecutors are seeking the death-penalty successful the five-man lawsuit and, by law, Mr. Ruiz indispensable beryllium contiguous to correspond Mr. al-Hawsawi.

Colonel McCall, who is the 4th justice assigned to preside successful the Sept. 11 trial since 2012, has scheduled 9 days of mostly administrative hearings to commencement Tuesday.

More than 100 people, including household members of victims of the attacks, are scheduled to get connected Saturday for the hearings, the archetypal since the commencement of the pandemic. It volition besides beryllium the archetypal tribunal proceeding since February 2020 with Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who is accused of being the crippled mastermind, and 4 different men who are accused of being accomplices successful the attacks that killed 2,976 radical successful New York, Pennsylvania and astatine the Pentagon 20 years ago.

Before the pandemic, defence lawyers were opening to telephone witnesses to contention imaginable proceedings grounds arsenic tainted by torture. Since then, tribunal related question was halted and the justice who was presiding astatine the clip abruptly retired.

Then, successful July, the basal recorded 7 cases of the microorganism successful a fewer weeks and added day-of-travel tests. Three radical tested affirmative successful the period of August, she said, resulting successful the quarantine of astatine slightest 10 radical done interaction tracing.

Base wellness officials besides accrued disguise requirements, accordant with Department of Defense policy. Visitors who arrived past period were told to deterioration them astatine each times indoors and besides outdoors wrong six feet of different people.

At the tribunal however, earlier this week, a Navy justice successful a antithetic warfare crimes lawsuit waived the disguise request and presided for 2 weeks with nary mask, and galore of the ineligible teams followed suit. Cmdr. Hayes C. Larsen, the judge, called it “a idiosyncratic decision” due to the fact that of “robust screening measures successful getting everyone safely to the island.”

The inconsistent masking truthful troubled different superior defender successful the Sept. 11 case, Cheryl Bormann, that she sought exigency support Wednesday nighttime to enactment remotely from a caller outer tribunal for the Guantánamo proceedings adjacent the Pentagon. The justice denied the request, noting that Ms. Borman refused to certify that her client, Walid bin Attash, could beryllium adequately represented with her fundamentally participating by video conference.

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