Whatever the final result of their sometime trial, the boys accused of plotting the assaults of Sept. 11, 2001, may be held endlessly as prisoners within the struggle in opposition to terrorism in a type of preventive detention, a navy prosecutor instructed the presiding decide on Wednesday.

Protection attorneys had been asking the decide to rule that, if convicted, Mustafa al-Hawsawi, one of many suspects in plotting the assault, would have any sentence to a time period of confinement diminished by the variety of days he was held by america earlier than trial. He has been held since 2003.

The argument, in a pretrial listening to within the decade-old Sept. 11 case, was the newest installment over a long-running, unresolved query of whether or not a prisoner, as soon as he completes a struggle crimes sentence, is entitled to launch from navy detention.

Col. Joshua S. Bearden, an Military prosecutor, stated the reply was no. He urged the decide to reject the request as each untimely, as a result of the federal government is searching for the loss of life penalty within the case, and past the scope of his authority.

No date has been set for the beginning of the trial of the four men accused of conspiring within the business airliner hijackings that killed practically 3,000 folks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Mr. Hawsawi has been held for the previous 20 years however not as punishment or completely for trial, Colonel Bearden stated. The prosecutor stated the fees in opposition to Mr. Hawsawi had been separate from the detention that retains him “off the battlefield” within the U.S. struggle with Al Qaeda.

Mr. Hawsawi is accused of serving to a few of the hijackers with funds and journey preparations from the United Arab Emirates on behalf of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11 plot. The 2 males had been captured collectively on March 1, 2003, in a raid on a home in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

“Make no mistake about it,” Colonel Bearden stated. “The battle continues to be occurring. Hostilities nonetheless exist.”

Sean M. Gleason, a lawyer for Mr. Hawsawi, a Saudi nationwide, argued that his consumer was in pretrial detention from the second of his seize as a result of america had already issued an arrest warrant for him and ready a secret indictment in opposition to him. By that measure, he stated, the prisoner was to date entitled to 253 months of sentencing credit score.

Mr. Hawsawi’s attorneys wrote in their brief that regardless that “the loss of life penalty lurks as a possible sentence,” that ought to not stop the decide from granting reduction “that might open the door to a distinct sentence.”

His attorneys have individually requested the decide to dismiss the case because of Mr. Hawsawi’s torture in U.S. custody.

Protection attorneys for the suspects raised the difficulty as a pretrial matter, arguing that navy commissions defendants ought to be entitled to sentencing credit score similar to different U.S. navy or legal defendants.

In 2010, the Pentagon added a rule to the Manual for Military Commissions particularly stripping struggle crimes judges of the fitting to award such credit score. However Mr. Gleason argued that Congress by no means included that provision within the numerous legal guidelines that created navy commissions, and so his proper to credit score was basically retroactive.

The decide, Col. Matthew N. McCall, didn’t ask questions on Wednesday concerning the overarching preventive detention doctrine. However he requested why one “legal course of” shouldn’t be “run like some other legal course of.”

“They’re regulation of struggle detainees endlessly, till the hostilities have ceased,” Colonel Bearden replied.

James G. Connell III, representing one other defendant, Ammar al-Baluchi, has equally sought sentencing credit score. Mr. Connell argued {that a} defendant, particularly when he considers whether or not to plead responsible to a criminal offense, ought to know the way a lot credit score he would obtain for time served.

Mr. Connell additionally disputed the prosecutor’s characterization of Mr. Baluchi as a “regulation of struggle detainee” in his first years within the C.I.A.’s secret abroad jail community, often known as black websites. Prisoners held underneath the regulation of struggle are entitled to visits from delegates of the Worldwide Committee of the Purple Cross, he stated. The Sept. 11 suspects had been captured in 2002 and 2003 however weren’t allowed to meet Red Cross representatives till October 2006, a month after their switch to Guantánamo Bay.

Of the 30 detainees at Guantánamo Bay, 11 have been tried or convicted; 16 have been permitted for switch to different international locations, with safety preparations; and three are indefinite detainees with out cost or trial being held underneath that doctrine as prisoners of the endlessly struggle in opposition to terrorism.

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