Published February 29, 2012
At Guantanamo Bay, it seems no court appearance is complete without a minor controversy.
After former Baltimore resident Majid Khan pleaded guilty Wednesday to contributing to a deadly 2003 bomb plot in Indonesia, a court security officer asked Khan to sign off on, or approve, the courtroom sketches. But Khan didn't want the pictures made public and refused.
A military source at the base told Fox News that the issue went all the way to Washington, D.C., and the military commission before it was resolved with the release of the sketches.
This is not the first time a detainee has refused to sign off on a courtroom sketch. When Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was arraigned for the first time in the military commissions, under President George W. Bush, he, too, was asked by a court security officer for approval.
Sources told Fox News, at the time, that Mohammed didn't like the nose in the picture and demanded that the sketch artist change it. Mohammed told the military to get his FBI mug shot, adding that the sketch artist could copy it.
The nose was changed, and the sketch eventually was released to the media.
It is expected that Khan, as part of his plea agreement, will testify against Mohammed. An arraignment for the 9/11 suspects is expected this spring.
It was striking that while Khan complained about the release of the sketches, Pat Pond, one of the victims of the 2003 Marriott hotel bombing in Jakarta, told reporters that she was severely burned in the attack. In the chaos at the hospital, needles were re-used, Pond said, and she got HIV.
Khan admitted he was part of the conspiracy to bomb the hotel because he delivered $50,000 for the attack.