Documents from the so-called mastermind of the September 11th attacks could become a central part of the defense of Osama bin Laden's son-in-law in federal court. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed says that Sulaiman Abu Ghaith may have been a great speaker, but in documents defense lawyers want admitted as evidence, Mohammed, also known as KSM, says that Abu Ghaith was not part of any plot to blow up planes.
"It's a case of maybe bad association and speech and nothing more, and we believe KSM establishes that," said defense attorney Stanley Cohen. "We believe that's what the documents we submitted establish that."
Federal prosecutors say that Abu Ghaith took an active role in al-Qaida as its spokesperson and recruited Muslims to take part in shoe bombing planes after the September 11th attacks. To try to counter that claim, the defense provided federal Judge Lewis Kaplan with documents containing written answers from Mohammed about Abu Ghaith's role in the terrorist group.
One statement from the so-called mastermind of the September 11th attacks says, "I personally never spoke with Sheikh Sulaiman Abu Ghayth about the Shoe Bomb Operation...Sheikh Sulaiman Abu Ghayth was not a military man and had nothing to do with military operations....those tasked with giving statements to the media do not necessarily know all the details of an operation and are sometimes even unaware of the very existence of the operation."
"Questions were initially provided to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. He then worked with his attorneys in Guantanamo Bay to prepare a general summary response to the questions that had been provided to him by the defense," said defense attorney Zoe Dolan.
Federal prosecutors, however, say that statements from Mohammed should not be allowed in this case. In their own written argument to the judge, they say that he was given an opportunity to testify in court but declined. The U.S. attorney's office also says that the defense has dragged its feet in presenting the documents.
Now that all of the documents have been presented to the court, the judge wants both sides in the courtroom without the jury or Abu Ghaith present to argue in front of him about the important issue. He'll then decide if the testimony will be allowed.