Nightly News | May 06, 2012
LESTER HOLT, anchor: More than a decade now since 9/11 and more than a year since US commandos killed Osama bin Laden , five of the men accused of helping him plot and plan the attacks were back in a military courtroom at Guantanamo acting up and angering victims' families as the US resumed efforts to bring them to justice. We get our report tonight from our national investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff .
MICHAEL ISIKOFF reporting: Throughout the hearing, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his alleged co-conspirators were defiant, refusing to answer the judge's questions, look at him, or even wear headsets so they could hear translations. Judge James Pohl was visibly irritated. "One cannot refuse to participate and frustrate the proceedings," he snapped.
ISIKOFF: Accused plotter Ramzi bin al Shibh twice disrupted the proceeding. "Maybe they will kill us and say we have committed suicide," he said in English. Family members, some watching here at Guantanamo , and others on closed-circuit TV at seven sites in the United States , were infuriated.
Mr. EDDIE BRACKEN (Lost Sister on 9/11): Hurtful because they have no remorse.
Ms. MAUREEN BASNICKI (Lost Husband on 9/11): They have nothing but contempt for our values and our way of life.
Mr. LEE HANSON (Lost Three Children on 9/11): I think people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed , if they can come back and told him we killed 50 children today, he would have said wonderful, praise Allah . I saw damn you.
ISIKOFF: In a press conference this morning, the defendants' appointed lawyers said the suspects were engaged in peaceful resistance to their treatment and an unjust military commission system.
Mr. DAVID NEVIN (Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's Attorney): The government wants to kill Mr. Mohammed . They want to extinguish the last eyewitness to his torture so that he can never speak again about it.
ISIKOFF: The military's chief prosecutor said the trial will be fair and bring justice for the 9/11 victims.
Brigadier General MARK MARTINS (United States Army): The United States is committed to accountability under law for those who have plotted to attack our nation and to kill innocent people.
ISIKOFF: Despite the disruptions, the judge moved the case forward but agreed to one defendant's request to read aloud all the charges against them. When he granted the request, bin al Shibh grinned widely. Then while they were read, the accused 9/11 plotters appeared to pay little attention in a case many lawyers say will drag on for years. Michael Isikoff , NBC News, Guantanamo Bay .