Category: World / October 16, 2012 2:26 PM EDT
The second day of pre-trial hearings began at Guantanamo base in Cuba on Tuesday (October 16) morning for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, and four alleged al Qaeda conspirators accused of supporting the hijackers.
In addition to Mohammed, the four defendants are charged with conspiring with al Qaeda, attacking civilians and civilian targets, murder in violation of the laws of war, destruction of property, hijacking and terrorism.
All five could face the death penalty if convicted.
Day 1 of the week-long hearing involved a debate over whether defendants must attend all proceedings under the rules of the special tribunals for wartime offenses known as military commissions.
Lawyers for two of the defendants said the threat to forcibly remove them from their cells and bring them to court is traumatic for men who were subjected to harsh interrogations that they say amounted to torture while in CIA custody, before going to Guantanamo in September 2006.