Sept. 11 judge rules on censor but little else
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) — The second round of pretrial hearings in the Sept. 11 case sputtered to a close Thursday with the judge ordering the government to remove censorship equipment from the courtroom at the U.S. base in Cuba but little progress on fundamental legal issues that must be resolved before the long-stalled case can go to trial.
Army Col. James Pohl ordered an undisclosed government agency to disconnect equipment it used to unilaterally cut the courtroom sound system to prevent the release of classified information to spectators. His abrupt order came toward the close of a four-day hearing devoted largely to such procedural matters as the rules for handling evidence.
The existence of a previously unknown government censor may have created a new delay, as the defense filed an emergency motion to halt proceedings until they can be assured that officials are not surreptitiously monitoring their communications with the defendants, who are facing death penalty charges for their alleged roles planning and aiding the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
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