February 18, 2013
The battered credibility of the Guantánamo trials has been further dented by revelations of hidden microphones, intelligence service interference with court proceedings and protests from lawyers who say the US military is preventing a proper defence of the alleged organisers of the 9/11 attacks.
The increasingly chaotic pre-trial hearings for the alleged mastermind of the attacks on the World Trade Center, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four co-accused have slowed progress toward the full trial, to the point where it will now not start until at least 2014. But the latest developments also further undermine confidence in a military court whose legitimacy has long been questioned.
In recent days, the commander of the Guantánamo prison, Colonel John Bogdan, was forced to admit on the witness stand that secret listening devices disguised as smoke detectors were installed in the cell where lawyers met their clients, and that he knew nothing about them.