Judge Delays Gitmo Hearing Over FBI Involvement Concerns

A military hearing for five Guantanamo Bay prisoners accused of conspiring in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks was put on hold Tuesday over concerns that FBI involvement may affect the trial.

Army Col. James Pohl, the presiding military judge, dismissed the hearing early and canceled Wednesday's scheduled session after defense attorneys brought to his attention the possibility of FBI involvement, Reuters reported.

Pohl said that defense team members must disclose whether they had been approached by federal authorities. He also said he would explore whether the FBI investigation could create a conflict for the defense team.

Earlier this month, two FBI agents approached a defense team member and asked him "to sign an agreement," according to Jim Harrington, an attorney for Ramzi Bin al Shibh, a Yemeni man accused of wiring money to the 9/11 hijackers.

Harrington said the member of his defense team would need to be replaced and called the episode "a chilling experience for all of us."

"It's really a conflict," Harrington said in Tuesday's hearing, according to Reuters. "We have had our DSO (defense security officer) working with us for months and months and months, and we have to question every piece of advice he gave us."

This delay is the latest of several faced by the five defendants, who are facing charges including mass murder, terrorism and hijacking.

The hearing is set to resume Thursday.

— Becky Bratu, with Reuters