GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba – A U.S. military commission postponed a preliminary hearing for a Sudanese man accused of being an Al Qaeda (search ) paymaster after his lawyer asked for more time to prepare Friday.
Another hearing was set for Oct. 4 for Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al Qosi (search ), 44, who is charged with conspiracy to commit war crimes, including attacking civilians, murder, destruction of property and terrorism.
Air Force Lt. Col. Sharon Shaffer, al Qosi's lawyer, had previously asked to withdraw from the case because she was offered a job as a deputy chief trial judge bosses gave her permission to stay on the case two days ago. She said she hadn't had time to prepare.
The presiding officer of the five-member panel, Army Col. Peter E. Brownback, granted her request. A trial was tentatively scheduled for Dec. 7, but that could depend on whether Shaffer gets additional legal help she has requested. She said her request for an assistant defense counsel had been denied.
Charges were read to the bearded Sudanese prisoner during the hearing, where he appeared wearing a dark skull cap.
U.S. charges allege al Qosi traveled with Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden (search ), served as a driver and quartermaster, and worked as an accountant and treasurer for a business intended to provide income and cover for Al Qaeda terror operations. He allegedly was with bin Laden during the Sept. 11, 2001, strikes against the United States.