By Daily Mail
A female defense attorney, who is not Muslim, wore the traditional Islamic hijab to the military court staging the trial of five Guantanamo Bay prisoners accused of the September 11 attacks yesterday.Cheryl Bormann, 52, who represents Walid bin Attash, said that her client had demanded she wear the clothing and insisted that other women at the hearing also wear ‘appropriate’ clothes out of respect for his religion.
Today she explained her decision at Guantanamo Bay, saying she always wears the hijab around her client. She asked that other women follow her example so that the defendants do not have to avert their eyes ‘for fear of committing a sin under their faith’, according to Fox News. The lawyer’s decision was one of the less controversial moments during Saturday’s hearing where at times the accused openly defied the court.
Self-proclaimed ‘mastermind’ Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, wearing a turban and white tunic, refused to answer the judge’s questions. Mohammed had been asked if he was satisfied with his U.S. military and civilian lawyers.‘I believe he’s deeply concerned about the fairness of the proceeding,’ said his civilian lawyer, David Nevin.
Proceedings were further delayed as one of the defendants, Waleed bin Attash, appeared while being restrained in his chair. The restraints were later removed after defense counsel had given assurances that he would ‘behave’. Another defendant, Ramzi Binalshibh, stood up, then knelt on the courtroom floor and prayed for several minutes as a row of guards in camouflage uniforms kept a close watch.
Mohammed and his co-defendants could all face the death penalty.
They have been accused of seven charges stemming from the 2001 attacks that killed 2,976 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. The devastation resulted in the U.S. embarking on a deadly, costly and ongoing global war against al Qaeda and its supporters. The families of six victims killed in the attacks were at court witnessing the trial while other victims’ families were able to watch proceedings via close-circuit TV.