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Pretrial Hearings Begin In 9/11 Military Trial

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during a news conference in April 2011 announcing that accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad will be tried before a military commission.
Pretrial hearings for five suspects in the 9/11 terror attacks against the United States have begun at a U.S. military courtroom in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The suspects include the self-professed mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Pretrial hearings are scheduled to last through October 19.

The military tribunal is expected to hear the case next year.

The military trial has been marred by criticism.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has called it an unfair process and said the case should be heard in a U.S. federal court.

Military prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty against any suspects found guilty of plotting to hijack and crash four passenger planes in New York and Washington.

Nearly 3,000 people -- mostly Americans but including citizens of more than 90 countries -- were killed in the 9/11 attacks.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP