Mental State Cited in 9/11 Case





WASHINGTON -- When five defendants are brought before a New York federal judge to face charges for the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the first question may be whether some of them are competent to stand trial at all.

Military lawyers for Ramzi Binalshibh, an accused organizer of the 9/11 plot, and Mustafa al-Hawsawi, the conspiracy's alleged paymaster, say their clients have mental disorders that make them unfit for trial, likely caused or exacerbated by years of harsh confinement in Central Intelligence Agency custody.

The issue already has arisen in military-commission proceedings at the military's detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. According to an August ruling by a military judge, prosecutors have made an "apparent concession" that Mr. Binalshibh "suffers from a delusional disorder-persecutory type" disorder. Mr. Binalshibh has been prescribed "a variety of psychotropic medications used to treat schizophrenia and/or bipolar disorder, including Haldol, Abilify, risperidone and Ativan," according to commission records...

... Much remains unknown about the prisoners' mental state, and prosecutors may have evidence to demonstrate their fitness that isn't currently public...


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