Pre-trial hearings continued in the case of five men accused of involvement in the September 2001 attacks in New York City where a decision is to be made on whether one of the men will be removed from the case, after being found unfit to stand trial last month.
In addition, in ongoing plea bargaining between the prosecutors and lawyers defending the five men, the Biden administration has rejected a set of proposed conditions for the plea deal made by the men, which would include medical care for physical and mental trauma afflicted during their time in CIA custody and no solitary confinement. In March 2022, prosecutors offered a deal to avoid the death penalty in the case if the defendants pleaded guilty to their alleged roles in the attacks. However, Biden’s decision to reject these condition could make such a deal harder to reach. The US administration has generally not engaged with the plea bargain proposed, leaving the matter to prosecutors and the defence to decide on. Some families of the deceased would like to see a trial for the five accused men rather than a plea bargain.
The case of two Malaysians and an Indonesian prisoner accused of involvement in the 2002 Bali bombing has been severed, with one Malaysian prisoner, Mohammed Farik Bin Amin, no longer being tried with the other two defendants in the case, which suggests that a plea deal may be pending and/or that Bin Amin may testify against his co-defendants. “Late in the Obama administration, the government nearly struck a plea deal with Mr. Bin Amin in which he would have been repatriated to Malaysia to serve out most of his sentence. But the deal collapsed amid concerns that he would not remain imprisoned for the full term, in part because Malaysia might not recognize the tribunals system as legitimate. A conviction of Mr. Bin Amin through a guilty plea would fit a strategy at the military commissions system of trying to use that approach to resolve charges against detainees formerly held at secret C.I.A. prisons known as black sites. Such cases are complicated by the fact that the agency tortured the prisoners before transferring them to military custody, and by the heavy presence of classified information.”