Families of 9/11 attack victims were informed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind behind the acts of terror, might avoid the death penalty, according to an Associated Press report.
Mohammed, along with four others who were captured in the war against terror and detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have yet to be prosecuted.
Trials against the alleged terrorists have been repeatedly delayed by legal disputes, especially regarding interrogation under torture the men initially underwent while in CIA custody.
“The Office of the Chief Prosecutor has been negotiating and is considering entering into pre-trial agreements (PTAs),” the letter obtained by the AP said.
The letter explained that while no plea agreement “has been finalized, and may never be finalized, it is possible that a PTA in this case would remove the possibility of the death penalty.”
Military prosecutors promised to take the outrage expressed by families of the 3,000 victims of the September 2001 attacks into consideration.
Their views will be presented to the military authorities who would make the final determination about whether to accepting a plea agreement, prosecutors pledge.
The August 1 letter was received by some families this week, the AP report noted. Recipients were asked to respond by Monday with comments or questions about the possibility of such a plea agreement.
“How can you have any faith in it?” asked retired New York City deputy fire chief Jim Riches, who lost his son Jimmy to the terror attacks.
“No matter how many letters they send, until I see it, I won’t believe it,” Riches adding, “those guys are still alive. Our children are dead.”
Peter Brady’s father was killed during the terror attacks, and received the government’s letter concerning a possible plea bargain this week.
The case “needs to go through the legal process,” Brady said in an interview with the AP, adding it’s about “holding people responsible, and they’re taking that away with this plea.”