9/11 hearing delayed after defense lawyers allege emails were hacked

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Saudi Mustafa al-Hawsawi via AFP

A judge has delayed an upcoming hearing for five men accused of plotting the September 11 attacks due to suspicions that confidential defense emails were monitored, a lawyer said Wednesday.

The next preliminary hearing had been set to take place on April 22 at the US military base at Guantanamo. It was now scheduled for June 17-21, according to a Pentagon spokesman.

Lawyers for four of the accused had filed an emergency motion with presiding Judge Colonel James Pohl, seeking a delay in proceedings after revelations that defense emails and computer files had been compromised.

Walter Ruiz, a lawyer who represents Saudi defendant Mustafa al-Hawsawi, said Wednesday the “judge ruled that the defense request is reasonable on its face and that the interests of justice are served by granting a continuance.”

In response to the defense’s email surveillance claims, the military’s chief defense counsel, Colonel Karen Mayberry, had ordered all attorneys representing detainees before the court to stop using their computers for confidential email and court documents.

Judge Pohl has delayed for the same reasons a hearing for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri of Saudi Arabia — the man accused of masterminding the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole — until mid-June.

Nashiri and the five men accused of plotting 9/11 face the death penalty.