Holder offers reassurances to skeptical senators on terror trials
WASHINGTON. - One Republican senator wants to know why it makes sense to have a civilian trial for the professed 9/11 mastermind when he's already tried to plead guilty before a military commission.
The question was put today to Attorney General Eric Holder at a Senate hearing.
Holder responded that the decision on where to try terror suspects won't be based on the "whims and desires" of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Holder also told senators that even if one of the 9/11 suspects is acquitted, that doesn't mean he'll be released in the United States, though he is not expecting any other result.
"These are cases that have to be won," said Holder.
To those who fear that a federal civilian trial will give Mohamed a chance to spout hateful rhetoric, Holder says not to worry.
He told the panel Wednesday that any words from the professed 9/11 planner in court will just make him look worse.
|Below: Obama predicts conviction of professed 9/11 mastermind...|
|Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged Sept. 11 mastermind, seen shortly after his capture.|
Obama predicts conviction of professed 9/11 mastermind
President Barack Obama is expressing confidence that the professed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks will be convicted when he's tried in civilian court.
In TV interviews as he wrapped up a trip to China, Obama said those who are offended by the legal privileges being given to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will feel differently "when he's convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him."
Obama quickly added that he's not trying to prejudge the outcome of a trial, saying that's "the job of the prosecutors, the judge and the jury." But he said that the prosecutors in the case
specialize in terrorism and have offered assurances that Mohammed will be convicted based on the evidence that's been gathered.
On criticism that trying Mohammed and four other terror suspects in Manhattan would create a security threat, Obama called it a "fundamental mistake" to believe that "these terrorists possess some special powers" that would prevent prosecutors from presenting evidence against them and exacting swift justice.
Obama spoke about the matter in interviews with NBC News and CNN.
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