'Mastermind of 9/11' could help US victims in lawsuit against Saudi Arabia

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The accused mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has indicated a willingness to be deposed by victims who are suing Saudi Arabia for damages, if the United States decides not to seek the death penalty against him.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s offer was disclosed late Friday in a letter filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan by lawyers representing individuals and businesses seeking billions of dollars in damages.

The Saudi government has long denied involvement in the attacks, in which hijacked airplanes crashed into New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., and a Pennsylvania field. Nearly 3,000 people died.

Michael Kellogg, a Washington-based lawyer for the Saudi government, declined to comment. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier about the letter.

According to the letter, the plaintiffs’ lawyers have been in contact with lawyers for five witnesses in federal custody about their availability for depositions.

The lawyers said three, including Mohammed, are housed at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention camp, where they face capital charges, while two are at the “Supermax” maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado.



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