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Secret Evidence Kept From Defendants Debate in 9/11 Case

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Khalid Sheik MuhammadKhalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men accused of plotting the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon returned to a military courtroom in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, today for pre-trial hearings that immediately became mired in a debate over how to handle secret evidence.

As a week of hearings began, defense lawyers said they weren’t willing to sign a memorandum of understanding on the handling of classified material because they said a judge’s order would prohibit them from sharing relevant evidence with their clients.

“It’s not fair to execute a man when you have not given him everything in the government’s possession that bears” on his case, said David Nevin, who represents Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The military judge, Army Colonel James Pohl, criticized lawyers for objecting now to signing the memorandum of understanding for a protective order that he approved in January.

“Simply to ignore it is not acceptable,” Pohl said.

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