The five men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks will not face trial for at least another year, according to Judge Colonel Matthew N. McCall, who took over last month as the new judge presiding in the 9/11 case at Guantánamo Bay. McCall’s comments came at the start of the second week of pretrial hearings, reports The New York Times. That would mean the trial of the men, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, would not get underway until 2022. “At a minimum we are at least one year away from trial,” said McCall.
The judge dismissed arguments from defense lawyers who questioned his qualifications to preside in the case and called for a further suspension in proceedings until he was fully acquainted with the previous ruling, including a 33,660-page transcript. Colonel McCall is the fourth judge to preside at the Guantánamo court in the case against Mohammed and the four other men who are accused of helping to plot the 9/11 hijackings. He has been a military judge for just two years, and was recently promoted to colonel, making him the youngest and least experienced of the judges who have overseen the case.