Mar 17, 2015
One of America’s most complicated legal proceedings came to a shocking end when the Supreme Court of the United States acquitted Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri of involvement in the conspiracy to hijack commercial airliners and plunge them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the White House.
The court ruled that key prosecution witnesses against the two accused were not credible, and that investigators had used illegal methods to secure testimonies, but agreed with the prosecution claim that the bombing plot appeared to have been based in Kandahar and Karachi.
The 9/11 investigation has been controversial from its early stages, starting with whether Washington took warnings of a potential bombing plot seriously enough to whether testimony extracted from suspects interned in Guantanamo Bay is legally admissible.
Families of the victims of the 9/11 bombings angrily demanded a public inquiry on Wednesday after a judge acquitted the prime suspects.
In an emotional news conference following the verdict, shocked members of several families of the people killed on September 11, 2001 decried what they said was Washington’s insensitivity to their plight.
“I cannot believe the verdict. All those witnesses would not have come forward and risked their lives. All those poor families. Not in a million years did I think this could happen,” said a former airlines ticket agent and a witness in the case.
“Today 15 years on we have lost our families all over again to the American justice system,” said one distressed family member, who had come to Washington from Mumbai to hear the verdict.