The story come from The Clarion Project.
US Budget Cuts Could Delay al-Qaeda Trial
Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan called the revelation that a package of U.S. federal government cuts could delay a start to an al-Qaeda trial this year "stunning." He said it was "extremely troublesome to contemplate the possibility of a case of this nature being delayed because of sequestration." New York's federal defense lawyers have to take a mandatory five week furlough, due to government cuts, that will mean that will be difficult for them to be prepared enough to conduct the case in September, and it may have to be postponed until January.
Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, , who was brought to the United States last month, is charged with conspiring to kill Americans in his alleged role as al-Qaeda’s top propagandist after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He has pleaded not guilty. He did not speak during the Manhattan court hearing, but listened to proceedings through an English-to-Arabic interpreter.
Ghaith issued a warning to the U.S. the day after the 9/11 attacks, saying "a great army is gathering against you. The storm shall not stop." He warned Muslims, children and opponents of the U.S. not to board any aircraft or live in high-rise buildings.
Ghaith's defense attorneys suggested that they intend to ask for court hearings to be moved away from the federal court in lower Manhattan, which is situated just a few blocks from the site of the September 11 attacks, due to the potential of a jury being prejudiced.
When, defense attorney Martin Cohen was asked if he thought it was possible to find an impartial jury, given the courtroom's proximity to where nearly 3,000 people died on September 11, he replied, "That is a question that we are mulling over."
The trial of Abu Ghaith, a former Kuwaiti preacher, will be one of the first prosecutions of a senior al-Qaeda leader on U.S. soil. U.S. authorities have said that he was turned over to them in Jordan after being deported from Turkey. His defense lawyers argued that a 22-page post-arrest statement made by the defendant in Jordan should not be allowed as evidence. Efforts to challenge post-arrest statements have been unsuccessful in previous terrorism trials in Manhattan.
If the case is moved out of New York, it will come as a blow to the White House that has long sought to try terrorists, including those connected to the September 11 attack, in a civilian courtroom in New York, rather than in military hearings at Guantánamo Bay.