Government Asks For Delay In Guantánamo Military Commission Cases Of 9/11 Defendants

September 16, 2009 12:00 am

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NEW YORK – The government indicated today it would ask for a further delay in the Guantánamo military commissions cases of the defendants charged in the 9/11 attacks. The proceedings are currently scheduled to resume on Monday, September 21, and it will be up to the military judge whether or not to grant a requested delay. The government’s request would come on the heels of a petition filed by military defense lawyers on September 10 asking a federal court to halt the unconstitutional military commissions system.

“Delaying these sham proceedings will not solve the problem of their inherent illegitimacy,” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “It’s time for the Obama administration to put an end to the shameful Guantánamo military commissions and move these cases to federal courts where there are actual trials and real justice can be served. Our tried-and-true criminal justice system is more than capable of handling terrorism cases while providing fundamental rights and maintaining credibility.”

If the military commissions judge moves forward with proceedings on Monday, it would mean holding hearings for Muslim defendants on Eid ul-Fitr, one of the most important holidays in the Muslim calendar.

Several defendants in the Guantánamo military commissions are represented by military attorneys assisted by the John Adams Project, a joint effort by the ACLU and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to provide support for the under-resourced military defense counsel in the Guantánamo military commissions.

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