9/11 judge announces retirement, names replacement
The military commission judge overseeing the trial of five men accused of conspiring to carry out the Sept. 11 attacks has retired and will turn the case over to another official, McClatchy reported Monday.
Army Col. James Pohl reportedly explained in a filing with the Office of Military Commissions that his decision to retire was “not impacted by any outside influence from any source.”
He named Marine Col. Keith Parrella, 44, as his replacement in the case, McClatchy reported.
Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other men are accused of conspiring with the hijackers who carried out the attacks in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
The trial still does not have a start date, even though the suspects were arraigned six years ago.
Pohl made headlines earlier this year when he ruled that prosecutors could not use statements made by Guantánamo Bay detainees to FBI interrogators after they were removed from a secret CIA prison.
The prisoners reportedly made the statements to an FBI “clean team” after their release from the CIA black site more than a decade ago. While the FBI agents were unaware of the detainees’ past statements and interrogations, defense lawyers in the case argued that the interrogation still could have affected their statements.
Prosecutors provided summaries of the actions and statements of guards and doctors in the prison, but Pohl ruled that summaries were not sufficient enough to be used in the case.
Parrella could overturn Pohl’s handling of the information gleaned from the interrogations.