Washington (CNN)A pre-trial hearing for the defendants accused of being a part of the attacks of September 11, 2001 came to a halt after one of the defendants objected to the presence of a courtroom interpreter the defendant said worked in a former secret CIA-run "black site" prison.
Gitmo translator ID'd as CIA 'black site' agent
Ramzi bin al Shibh, an accused 9/11 co-conspirator, made the remark shortly after the hearing got underway at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay where the accused are being held during the adjudication of the U.S.-led military commission.
According to a transcript of the proceedings obtained by CNN, bin al Shibh told the presiding judge, Col. James Pohl, he objected to the presence of the translator because "I cannot trust him because he was working at the black site with the CIA and we know him from there," the transcript read.
Cheryl Bormann, an attorney for a separate defendant in the courtroom, Walid bin Attash, also told Pohl her client informed her "there is somebody in this courtroom who was participating in his illegal torture."
When Pohl asked Bormann when she became aware of the development, Bormann replied it was "just three minutes ago."
Following a quick recess ordered by Pohl, a reporter from the Miami Herald in the courtroom said the proceedings resumed without the interpreter in the courtroom. The court was soon recessed until 9:00 a.m. Wednesday after the chief prosecutor, Brigadier General Mark Martins was granted a continuing recess to look into the matter.
The CIA operated a network of secret prisons in some countries around the world and used them to interrogate various individuals suspected of terror-related offenses. An extensive report by the Senate Intelligence Committee released in December said torture occurred at the facilities, that were eventually closed by the Bush administration after they became public in 2006.
In addition to bin al Shibh and bin Attash, Khalid Shiekh Mohammad, the accused mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, and defendants Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawasawi were in the courtroom as well.
Monday's proceedings were part of the pre-trial process, with the actual start of the trial still months away.