UK & World News
9/11 Accused Fights To Reveal CIA Secrets
Lawyers at the pre-trial hearing of the alleged 9/11 mastermind will argue that he should be allowed to publicly reveal his experiences at the hands of the CIA.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men being tried at a war crimes tribunal in America's Guantanamo Bay naval base are fighting a prosecution request to prevent them from describing what happened at a secret network of overseas prisons on the grounds of national security.
Government lawyers want a protective order requiring the court to use a 40-second delay during proceedings, with spectators sitting behind soundproof glass so officials can prevent them from hearing classified details of CIA rendition and detention.
Chief prosecutor for the military commissions Army Brigadier General Mark Martins said: "Our government's sources and methods are not an open book."
The defence are expected to argue their clients were subjected to enhanced interrogation methods such as waterboarding during their detention, and that such treatment forms a vital part of the case, a case they must be able to talk about publicly.
A number of media organisations and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are also challenging the order at the pre-trial hearing.
ACLU lawyer Hina Shasmi will be making the argument before the court on behalf of her organisation.
She said: "What we are challenging is the censorship of the defendant's testimony based on their personal knowledge of the government's torture and detention of them.
"It's a truly extraordinary and chilling proposal that the government is asking the court to accept."
Over the coming week the commission judge will decide on other issues, such as whether the men will be required to attend court, and what they can wear if they do.
This period of proceedings has been delayed a number of times due to religious holidays, internet outages, bad weather and rat infestations.
Now it is finally under way, it is expected to set the legal framework for the trial itself, due to start in the summer of 2013.
They face charges including terrorism, conspiracy, and 2,976 counts of murder - one for each known victim of the 9/11 attacks at the time of the charges.
If convicted they could get the death penalty.