Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, al-Qa'ida's indicted defendant of the September 11, 2001 attacks, expressed his willingness to assist in a case brought by victims seeking compensation from Saudi Arabia if the United States decided not to seek the death penalty against him.
Muhammad's offer was announced late Friday in a letter filed with U.S. District Court in Manhattan by attorneys representing individuals and businesses seeking billions of dollars in damages, the Wall Street Journal and Reuters reported Monday.
The Saudi government has long denied involvement in the 2001 attacks in which hijacked planes crashed at the World Trade Center of New York, the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C. and the Pennsylvania field. Nearly 3,000 people died.
Michael Kellogg, a lawyer for the Saudi government based in Washington, declined comment.
According to the letter, the plaintiffs' attorneys have contacted attorneys for five witnesses in federal custody regarding their readiness to file.
Lawyers said that three, including Mohammed, were detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where they face capital charges while two are in Supermax maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado.
According to the letter, Mohammed would not agreed to "remove" at the moment, but that may change.
"The lawyer stated that the" main driver "of this decision was the" capital character of the prosecution "and that" in the absence of a potential death sentence, much broader cooperation would have been possible, "the letter said.
Mohammed and the other Guantánamo detainees attend pre-trial hearings in their cases, the letter says. [1
"We just leave no stone unturned," he said.  Glenn Carl, a former officer with the US Central Intelligence Agency, influences this sentiment.
"He knows quite a bit about the structure of al-Qaeda, the individual decisions made about how things happened. A lot of that was his thinking, "Carl told Al Jazeera." So I think he has the information, for sure. Used in court in the United States is one of the big questions. "
"The answer to this is not clear, since the information obtained is defiled, the defense alleges and is justified, using illegal methods, intensified questioning, which is a euphemism for torture."
Patty Kulhan to Al Jazzia, reporting in Washington, DC, said the victims' Sept. 11 civil case was separate from the criminal case Mohamed case
She also said that it was unclear whether US President Donald Trump, who is close to Saudi Arabia's leaders, would allow Mohamed to give a plea deal.  Bruce Fein, former US Attorney General, said the lawsuit has major financial implications for Saudi Arabia ver, the US presidential election in 2020 could intensify pressure on Trump to drop the death penalty for Mohammed.
"If the plaintiffs win in this case, it could be hundreds of billions of dollars. You have over 3000 plaintiffs, damages plus criminal damages and jurors who are very hostile to Saudi Arabia, this can virtually bankrupt Saudi Arabia. All their assets in the US and elsewhere can be seized, "Fein said.
"So the incentive for Mr Trump, unlike others, to give up is not very great. But still, it may be that in 2020 the US population in general will not sympathize with the ruling Mr. Trump is seeking their vote if he appears to be occupying the country of Saudi Arabia because of the victims of September 11. "
The US Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Death of victims
Saudi Arabia has long been widely immune from the September 11 lawsuits in the United States. However, that changed in September 2016, when the US Congress overruled President Barack Obama's veto of the Justice Against Sponsors Act (JASTA).
In March 2018, U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan, who oversees the litigation of victims, said. their claims "narrowly formulate a reasonable basis" for it to assert jurisdiction through JASTA over Saudi Arabia.
His decision covers the claims of the families of those killed, approximately 25,000, injured and many businesses and insurers.
And a previous attempt to mediate Mohammed and four other defendants since 9/11 was denied the fear that the death penalty would serve as a formal discouragement for the torture of detainees by the government.
A person familiar with the military proceedings told the magazine that one of the main goals in these negotiations was to win the cooperation of the defendants.
"One of the main things defendants of 9/11 can offer is closure, that is, especially the closure of victims, "according to a person not identified by the Journal.
" With missing capital charges, it is possible to tell the story of 9/11 once and for all. "
In addition to the 9/11 attacks, al-Qaeda member took responsibility for the abduction and assassination of US journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.
Mohammed was captured in Pakistan in 2003 and has been detained since 2006. Guantánamo Bay Prison.
The CIA subjected him to water 183 times in 2003, which was later authorized by former US President George W. Bush.