|A Guantanamo Bay prisoner charged in the Sept. 11 attacks fired one of his military attorneys Monday in an apparent sign of distrust of his Pentagon-appointed legal counsel.
Waleed bin Attash at first refused to speak when questioned by the judge about his desire to dismiss one of his three lawyers, Marine Corps Maj. William Hennessy. He hinted at his motivation later in an exchange with the judge about whether he wished to attend future sessions of the court.
"We have been dealing with our attorneys for about a year and a half and we have not been able to get any trust with them," the Yemeni said through an Arabic translator.
The dismissal of the attorney came at the start of what is expected to be a four-day hearing to address a wide range of often abstract pretrial legal issues.
Bin Attash is one of the lesser figures among the five defendants in the Sept. 11 case. He allegedly ran an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan where two of the 19 hijackers in the terrorist attacks trained. He is also believed to have been a bodyguard for Osama bin Laden.
Defendants in the military tribunal have civilian counsel in addition to military lawyers. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has portrayed himself as the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, added an additional death penalty specialist, California lawyer Gary Sowards, to his team Monday.