Marshall County District Attorney Returns from Visit to Guantanamo Bay
GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)– Marshall County District Attorney Steve Marshall just returned from a trip to witness a hearing for the September 11th terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“Opportunity to be an observer of the trials of those who planned and orchestrated the death of thousands of Americans was a very unique opportunity and one I will always appreciate,” he told WHNT News 19.
Marshall was the only district attorney in the country chosen to attend the hearings. Marshall says state prosecutors actually have more expertise at handling capital murder cases than do federal prosecutors. So he was asked to give his feedback on what he witnesses.
Marshall, along with family members of 9-11 victims, watched the proceedings from behind a glass window. While they watched the proceedings in real time, they couldn’t not hear what was being said in real time.
“A 40 second delay to make sure that no classified information was disclosed,” he says. “Specifically what happened to those five terrorists during the three years they were detained before they were brought to Guantanmo Bay. That’s a significant issue in the case. “
Marshall also got to see the man accused of being the mastermind behind the attacks in 2001, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
“It was very surreal. He looks very different than the photo that we saw when he was arrested in Pakistan. Now he has a very long beard that he’s died red. Dressed in camouflage clothing that he says to be able to demonstrate his presence as a soldier. But what was also remarkable was to be there with the families of the victim’s of 911.”
The suspects are scheduled to go on trial in January of 2015, but most believe that date will be pushed back.