Order forcing judges to move to Guantanamo halts 9/11 case
MIAMI - A military judge has ordered an immediate halt to proceedings in the Sept. 11 terrorism case because of a new Defense Department rule that requires him to relocate to the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Lawyers for five Guantanamo prisoners charged in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack filed a motion to dismiss the case in January because of the relocation order. The defense argued that the order was an improper attempt by Pentagon officials to accelerate proceedings in the death-penalty case.
Army Col. James Pohl ruled Wednesday that the order creates "at least the appearance" of what's known in military law as unlawful influence.
All activity in the case must stop unless the Defense Department rescinds the rule. Prosecutors can appeal.
A Pentagon spokesman had no immediate comment.