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Some of the conditions that the 9/11 defendants sought in plea negotiations were rejected by Biden

By 09/07/2023 5:31 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


A White House National Security Council official said on Wednesday that President Joe Biden has declined to approve some of the conditions that the attorneys for the defendants in the September 11, 2001, attacks had sought in a potential plea bargain, ruling out a presidential guarantee that the five men would be spared solitary confinement and given care for the trauma of their torture in CIA custody.

Due to Biden’s rejection of the plea-bargain guarantees, military prosecutors and defense attorneys must attempt to reach a plea deal. The five Guantanamo detainees would plead guilty and serve life sentences in exchange for being spared the death penalty under the terms being discussed.

Approximately one and a half years have passed since the attorneys for the two parties began discussing a negotiated settlement. During that time, they had been waiting to see if Biden would voice support or opposition for some of the conditions that the defense attorneys had been requesting.

The National Security Council official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said that Biden concurred with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s recommendation not to accept the proposed terms as a basis for plea negotiations.

According to the official, Biden was uneasy accepting the plea deal from those who carried out the deadliest attack on the United States since Pearl Harbor.

The White House had been hesitant to offer an opinion. Another person with knowledge of the situation who was also not authorized to comment and spoke on the condition of anonymity said that Biden believed that the decision lay with the senior military officer in charge of the U.S. military proceedings at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is one of the five defendants and is accused of planning the attacks, which were carried out using hijacked passenger jets.

Nearly 3,000 people were directly killed in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. by the al-Qaida plot. The attack also altered the direction of American foreign policy and sparked lethal U.S. military invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, which had no connection to the plot but had hosted al-Qaida.

Although there is no scheduled trial date, the five have been undergoing pre-trial hearings at the U.S. military commission in Guantanamo Bay for more than ten years.

The case has become more complex due to legal issues, such as the potential legal repercussions of the torture the men underwent after being captured in the years immediately following the attack. Likewise, holding the proceedings outside of the US has presented logistical difficulties.

After U.S. military officials formally informed a wider circle of 9/11 victims family members of the terms of the plea negotiations that were taking place, Biden’s decision to refuse to accede to some of the conditions requested by defense attorneys was made public.

Then, a number of the survivors publicly protested a deal that would have spared the five accused a trial and the possibility of the death penalty. The administration’s choice was applauded by Brett Eagleson, whose father died in the attacks of 2001. In a statement, he said, “We eagerly anticipate the day that we can praise our government for finally providing us with justice and holding all parties involved in the attacks accountable.”


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