Military prosecutors have been struggling to bring the 9/11 case to trial, which has been mired in years of pre-trial hearings since the arraignment of the suspects in May 2011.
Army Brig. Gen. Mark S. Martins, the chief prosecutor of the alleged perpetrators of the 9/11 terror attacks, who served throughout the Obama and Trump administrations, is retiring less than two months before the 20th anniversary of the deadly events of 2001.
The abrupt departure comes as Pentagon officials are gearing up for the first hearings since February 2020, set for September, in the problem-plagued trial of five men accused of plotting the hijackings that killed 2,976 people in New York at the Pentagon and in a Pennsylvania field.
The announcement was made in a message to the families of the victims of the four coordinated attacks by the terrorist group Al-Qaeda* by Karen Loftus, director of the prosecution team’s Victim Witness Assistance Programme.
Revealed on 8 July and cited by NPR, the move throws into question the likelihood that the trial schedule will be met.
No clarification was offered regarding the reasons behind the early exit of the prosecutor, which comes as a surprise given that Martins had repeatedly delayed his retirement and was scheduled to remain in the position until 2023. Ms. Loftus said General Martins chose to retire “in the best interests of the ongoing cases.”
It was added that the timing offered “an ideal window to identify a successor” as proceedings are…