Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the defendant al-Qaida mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, has stated his willingness to cooperate in a lawsuit filed by victims claiming damages from Saudi Arabia if the United States decides to Not to apply for capital punishment against him.
Muhammad's offer was made public late this Friday in a letter filed in the US District Court in Manhattan by lawyers representing individuals and companies claiming billions of dollars in damages, the Wall Street Journal and Reuters reported Monday.
The Saudi government has long denied involvement in the 2001 attacks, in which hijacked planes crashed against the New York World Trade Center, the Pentagon outside Washington, DC, and a field in Pennsylvania. Almost 3,000 people died.
Michael Kellogg, a Washington, DC attorney for the Saudi government, declined to comment.
According to the letter, the attorneys' lawyers were in contact with lawyers for five federal witnesses for their availability for depositions.
Lawyers said three, including Muhammad, are being held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where they are being sued for capital while two are in the Supermax high security prison in Florence, Colorado
According to the letter Muhammad does not agree to be deposed "at the present time," but that could change.
"Counsel explained that" the main driver "of this decision is" the capital character of "law enforcement" and that "without a possible death sentence, wider cooperation would be possible," the letter said.
Muhammad and the other Guantanamo detainees took part in hearings before the trial in their cases, the letter said. [1
James Kreindler, a plaintiff's attorney, told Reuters it was not clear how useful Muhammad might be.
"We really do not leave any stone on the other," he said. 19659005] Glenn Carle, a former US Central Intelligence Agency officer, commented similarly.
"He knows a great deal about the structure of Al-Qaeda, the individual choices of how things happened, and he thought a lot of them," Carle told Al Jazeera. "Well, I think he certainly has information, and if it's usable in a court in the United States, that's one of the big questions."
"The answer to this is not unequivocal The information obtained is corrupt, the defense claims, and, for that reason, illegal methods were used to increase interrogation, which is a euphemism for torture. "
Patty Culhane of Al Jazeera of Washington, DC, pointed out that the civil proceedings of the victims September 11 is Separated from the Criminal Case Mohammed faces
She also said that it is unclear whether US President Donald Trump, who is close to the leaders of Saudi Arabia, pleads for the statement
Bruce Fein, former Deputy US Attorney General, said the lawsuit had significant financial implications for Saudi Arabia The US 2020 presidential election could put pressure on To raise Trump to lift the death penalty for Muhammad.
"If the plaintiffs win in this case, it could be hundreds of billions of dollars, they have over 3,000 claimants, damages plus punitive damages, and a jury very hostile to Saudi Arabia, which could take virtually all of Ruin Saudi Arabia. " could be taken in the US and elsewhere, "said Fein.
" The incentive for Mr. Trump, unlike others, to renounce him is not that great. Nevertheless, it could be in the year 2020 that the US general population will not sympathize with Mr. Trump, who is going to stand and seeks her vote, if it looks like he would side with Saudi Arabia over the victims of 9/11 taking.
The US Department of Justice did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Saudi Arabia has long enjoyed widespread immunity in the US since 9/11, but this changed in September In 2016, when US Congress overturned the veto of President Barack Obama against the Law Against Terrorism Sponsors (JASTA).
In March 2018, US District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan, who oversees the legal disputes of the victims Claims formulate "barely a reasonable basis" for asserting jurisdiction over Saudi Arabia by JASTA.
His decision affected claims of the families of those killed, about 25,000 injured, and many companies and insurers.
A The earlier attempt to mediate a plea agreement with Mohammed and four other defendants on 9/11 was spoiled because of concern The cancellation of the death penalty would serve as official censorship for the government's torture of the detainees.
A person familiar with military procedures told the Journal that one of the main objectives of these negotiations is to promote the defendants' cooperation.
"Closing is one of the most important things the defendants have to offer on September 11, especially because of the closure of the victims," said the person who did not identify the Journal.
"When the cost of capital is gone, there is a chance to tell the story of 9/11 once and for all."
In addition, following the 9/11 attacks, the al-Qaeda member has the responsibility for Kidnapping and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.
Muhammad was arrested in Pakistan in 2003 and has been in Guantanamo Bay since 2006.
The CIA waterboarded 183 times in 2003, which was later personally authorized by former US President George W. Bush.