The Miami Herald reports: The prosecution in the Sept. 11 conspiracy trial put the judge on notice Wednesday that it wants to hold secret pretrial motions in the death-penalty case — and exclude both the public and five alleged terrorists during discussion of their years in CIA custody.
Exclusion must be handled on a case by case basis, said Department of Justice attorney Joanna Baltes. But, she argued, the accused don’t have an absolute right to hear legal arguments that discuss classified information before a military jury starts hearing evidence.
Defense lawyers disagreed. At issue, noted attorney David Nevin for alleged mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, is the Bush administration’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation program, in which his client was waterboarded 183 times.
“Mr. Mohammad has a right to be present when we’re talking about matters that deal with his torture,” he said. Nevin invoked the 8th Amendment prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment, and said Mohammed has a right to see evidence the against him. [Continue reading…]