Accused 9/11 mastermind could testimony against Saudi Arabia

Accused 9/11 mastermind could testimony against Saudi Arabia

PanARMENIAN.Net - Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the accused al-Qaeda mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks, has indicated a willingness to cooperate in a lawsuit filed by victims seeking damages from Saudi Arabia, if the United States decides not to seek the death penalty against him, Al Jazeera reports.

Mohammed's offer was disclosed in a letter filed in the US District Court in Manhattan by lawyers representing individuals and businesses seeking billions of dollars in damages, the Wall Street Journal and Reuters news agency reported on Monday.

The Saudi government has long denied involvement in the 2001 attacks, in which hijacked airplanes crashed into New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon outside Washington, DC, and a Pennsylvania field. Nearly 3,000 people died.

Michael Kellogg, a Washington, DC-based lawyer for the Saudi government, declined to comment.

According to the letter, the plaintiffs' lawyers have been in contact with lawyers for five witnesses in federal custody about their availability for depositions.

The lawyers said three, including Mohammed, are housed at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention camp, where they face capital charges, while two are at the "Supermax" maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado.

According to the letter, Mohammed would not agree "at the present time" to be deposed, but that could change.

"Counsel stated that 'the primary driver' of this decision is the 'capital nature of the prosecution' and that 'in the absence of a potential death sentence much broader cooperation would be possible'," the letter said.

Mohammed and the other Guantanamo detainees have been attending pre-trial hearings in their cases, the letter said.

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