A U.S. military judge agreed Monday to postpone the next court hearings at the Guantanamo Bay prison for five men charged in the Sept. 11 attacks to avoid a conflict with the Muslim holy period of Ramadan.
The judge issued a short order postponing the next pretrial hearings at the U.S. base in Cuba until Aug. 22-26 at the request of all five defendants, said James Connell, a lawyer for one of the accused.
The hearings had been scheduled to run from Aug. 8-12, which fall during the last 10 days of Ramadan, a period in which devout Muslims fast during the day and pray during the night. That would make it difficult for the accused to participate in their defense, said Connell, a lawyer for Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali.
“It’s very difficult to pay attention to sometimes intricate legal proceedings when you haven’t had any sleep and you haven’t had any food,” Connell said.