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Alleged 9/11 plotters scheduled for June military commission arraignment

[JURIST] US military judge Col. Ralph Kohlmann [JURIST news archive] set June 5 as the tentative date for the military commission's arraignment of the five men charged with plotting the Sept. 11 attacks [JURIST news archive] in an email to military defense attorneys Wednesday. The group, held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], includes the alleged mastermind of the attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. On Tuesday, the Pentagon approved [JURIST report] death penalty charges against the five defendants. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] expressed its outrage [ACLU press release] over the judge's announcement and also decried the setting of an arraignment date before the defendants were able to consult with their prospective lawyers. On Tuesday, the ACLU accused the US Department of Defense of stalling [JURIST report] the process of granting security clearances to civilian lawyers seeking to participate in the defense of Mohammed and other Guantanamo detainees. Reuters has more. The Miami Herald has additional coverage.

In April, Mohammed's military defense lawyer, US Navy Capt. Prescott Prince, expressed his concern [JURIST report] about the fairness of Mohammed's trial in an interview with CNN. The chief prosecutor for the Guantanamo Bay military commissions, US Army Col. Lawrence Morris, said that the trials of Mohammed and the other Sept. 11 suspects would be broadcast [JURIST report] live on closed-circuit television to several military bases so that the victims' families could watch. The men face death penalty charges, but US Attorney General Michael Mukasey [JURIST news archive] said in March that executing the Sept. 11 suspects would make them martyrs [JURIST report].

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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