Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — A major defense lawyer in the long-delayed September 11 terrorist attacks was quarantined Thursday after being exposed to the coronavirus, potentially retreating efforts.
Guantanamo, home to 6,000 residents behind the Cuban minefield, has succeeded in preventing the outbreak of the virus through quarantine, inspection and closure.
However, lawyer Walter Lewis was with his client, Saudi Arabian prisoner Mustafa al-Hosawi, for 90 minutes when the guards suddenly ended the meeting on Wednesday. Luis and Hossawi were wearing masks, but medical personnel ordered him to be locked up in his dormitory after someone sitting near him was infected on a naval plane to the base on Tuesday. Lewis, who was negative before and after his arrival, was to be tested again on Friday.
The question is whether he will be released from quarantine in time for a private meeting between Judge, Air Force Colonel Matthew McCall and a litigation lawyer in a court in Guantanamo on Saturday. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in five cases, and the law requires Mr. Lewis to be present to represent Mr. Alhosawhi.
Colonel McCall, the fourth judge to chair the September 11 trial since 2012, is planning a nine-day, predominantly administrative hearing starting Tuesday.
For the first time since the pandemic began, more than 100 people, including the families of the victims of the attack, will arrive on Saturday for a hearing. Also, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has been accused of being the mastermind of the plot since February 2020, and the Pentagon in New York, Pennsylvania, and 20 years ago.
Prior to the pandemic, defense lawyers began calling witnesses to challenge potential court evidence contaminated by torture. Since then, court-related trips have been suspended and the then presiding judge suddenly retired.
Then, in July, the base recorded seven viruses in a few weeks and added a travel day test. She said three were positive in August and at least 10 were quarantined by contact. trace.
In line with Pentagon policy, base health authorities have also raised mask requirements. Visitors arriving last month were told by others to always wear it indoors and outdoors within 6 feet.
However, in court, earlier this week, another war crimes Navy judge abandoned the mask requirement and presided over for two weeks without a mask, followed by many legal teams. Cmdr. Judge Hayes C. Larsen called this a “personal decision” because of “a powerful screening measure to safely take everyone to the island.”
Inconsistent masking plagued another capital defender Cheryl Bormann in the September 11 incident, so he joined remotely from a new satellite court for a Guantanamo case near the Pentagon on Wednesday night. I asked for an emergency permit to do so. Judges point out that Bowman refused to prove that her client, Walid bin Attache, could be properly represented by essentially attending a video conference. And rejected the request.