They knelt in prayer, ignored the judge and wouldn't listen to Arabic translations as they confronted nearly 3,000 counts of murder. The self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks and four co-defendants defiantly disrupted an arraignment that ended late Saturday night in the opening act of the long-stalled effort to prosecute them in a military court.
In this photo of a sketch by courtroom artist Janet Hamlin and reviewed by the U.S. Department of Defense, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed reads a document during his military hearing at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba, Saturday, May 5, 2012. The self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed repeatedly declined to respond to a judge's questions Saturday and his co-defendant Walid bin Attash was briefly restrained at a military hearing as five men charged with the worst terror attack in U.S. history appeared in public for the first time in more than three years.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the admitted architect of the attacks that sent hijacked jetliners into New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and the four men accused of aiding the 9/11 conspiracy put off entering pleas until a later date. Another hearing was set for June 12.
It wasn't until more than seven hours into the disrupted and prolonged hearing that prosecutors at the U.S. military base in Cuba even began reading the charges against the men, including 2,976 counts of murder and terrorism that carry the death penalty.
Earlier Saturday, Mohammed cast off his earphones providing Arabic translations of the proceeding and refused to answer Army Col. James Pohl's questions or acknowledge he understood them. All five men refused to participate in the hearing; two passed around a copy of The Economist magazine and leafed through the articles.
Walid bin Attash was confined to a restraint chair when he came into court, released only after he promised to behave. CONTINUE .. . . .