Lima native watches terror suspects' hearings - Lima, OH News Weather Sports

Lima native watches terror suspects' hearings

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During pre-trial proceedings at Guantanamo Bay, just three panes of glass separated Sheila Willamowski from five of the men accused of masterminding and aiding in the September 11th terrorist attacks.  Willamowski was asked to take the spot of her University of Toledo law professor who, at the last minute, was not able to attend the week of hearings.

"I was in middle school when the attacks happened.  So, to be sitting in the room with the NGOs, and the media,a and the victims' family members and talking to them during recess and then looking through the glass and seeing the individuals accused of having done this to almost 3,000 people and affecting everyone's life, it was just kind of surreal to put the pieces together and to see all that," said Willamowski.

Willamowski and the others watched the proceedings as they were taking place.  However, audio was streamed in on a delay, just in case confidential information was discussed. The defendants face charges that include terrorism and nearly3,000 counts of murder for their alleged roles in the 9-11 attacks.  

"To me it speaks so much that we give these individuals an opportunity to have a defense attorney to put on a trial and process that is just something that is so American, and it means a lot to me, and it was just remarkable to see that and to be so proud to be American to see how we deal with these people," said Willamowski.  

Spectators were chosen through a lottery system and included surviving firefighters, victims' family members and officials with human right's organizations.  
Willamowski stayed on base during the hearings.  

So far, the judicial process has been a slow one.  The trial is expected to get underway in late 2014 at the earliest.  


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