Health Management

Man Accused in 9/11 Plot Is Not Fit to Face Trial, Board Says


A army medical board has concluded that Ramzi bin al-Shibh, who’s accused of conspiring within the Sept. 11 assaults, has a psychological sickness that makes him incompetent to both face trial or plead responsible within the loss of life penalty case, based on a report filed along with his trial choose on Friday.

The discovering is the most recent setback to prosecution efforts to carry the long-running capital circumstances at Guantánamo Bay to trial. Final week, a military judge threw out the confession of a person accused of plotting the usS. Cole bombing, Guantánamo’s different capital case, as contaminated by his torture by the C.I.A.

The query of Mr. bin al-Shibh’s sanity, and capability to assist his legal professionals defend him, has shadowed the Sept. 11 conspiracy case since his first court appearance in 2008. Then, a army lawyer disclosed that her consumer was restrained with ankle shackles and that the jail had him medicated with psychotropic medicine. He has disrupted pretrial hearings through the years with outbursts, and in courtroom and in filings complained that the C.I.A. torments him with noises, vibrations and different methods to deprive him of sleep.

It was unclear whether or not the prisoner was allowed to see the report, which was filed below seal on Friday; for years he has resisted the concept he has a psychological sickness and needs to be severed from the joint trial with the person accused of being the mastermind of the Sept. 11 assaults, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and three different defendants. The 5 males are accused of conspiring within the aircraft hijackings in 2001 that killed almost 3,000 individuals in New York Metropolis, on the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.

Now it’s as much as the choose, Col. Matthew N. McCall, to resolve whether or not to take away Mr. bin al-Shibh from the case and proceed with a four-man prosecution — or to postpone proceedings pending remedy. Colonel McCall has scheduled hearings on the subject for the week of Sept. 18 at Guantánamo Bay.

One difficulty will probably be whether or not prosecutors problem the discovering and search testimony from the board members and different consultants about how he is likely to be handled with the restricted well being care obtainable on the detention middle of 30 prisoners at Guantánamo Bay.

Mr. bin al-Shibh’s lawyer, David I. Bruck, who was reached at Guantánamo Bay on Friday, declined to debate or touch upon the report.

Friday’s report was the results of an order from the choose in April for 3 psychological well being consultants to analyze whether or not Mr. bin al-Shibh “is affected by a psychological illness or defect that renders him mentally incompetent to face trial.” Prosecutors filed it below seal.

However three individuals who noticed the report, and spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of it has not been launched, stated he was discovered not competent. One one that learn it stated the panel recognized him with post-traumatic stress dysfunction “with psychotic options.”

Mr. bin al-Shibh is accused of organizing the Hamburg, Germany, cell of Sept. 11 hijackers, together with researching flight colleges in america and wiring cash to a number of the 19 hijackers within the assault. He additionally allegedly labored with the cell chief, Mohammed Atta, and reported to leaders of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan that the assault would happen on 9/11.

The medical panel reached its conclusion greater than a yr after prosecutors invited the defendants within the case to plead responsible in trade for all times in jail, slightly than threat the potential of a loss of life sentence at trial, by admitting to their roles in hijackings.

The talks, which began in March 2022, have been largely stalled awaiting an answer from the Biden administration on whether or not it’ll present a number of assurances together with that, as convicts, the lads won’t be held in solitary confinement.

However prosecutors famous in latest filings that as a result of Mr. bin al-Shibh was present process the competency examination, he was excluded from the talks.

It’s not clear what army medical workers on the jail can do to revive his competency. Amongst different issues, the defendants need assurances as a part of the plea deal that the jail will set up a civilian-run trauma care program for them.

In line with their legal professionals, no less than 4 of the defendants have sleep problems, mind accidents, gastrointestinal harm or different well being issues they attribute to the company’s brutal interrogation strategies throughout their three to 4 years in C.I.A. custody earlier than their switch to Guantánamo Bay in 2006.

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