Detainee Pleads Guilty at Military Commission Hearing

Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–February 15, 2011. The Department of Defense announced that Noor Uthman Muhammed pleaded guilty today in a military commission.  In accordance with a pre-trial agreement, Muhammed admitted, in open court, to providing material support to terrorism and conspiring to provide material support to terrorism.  His sentence will be determined at a hearing scheduled to begin Feb. 16.

In all cases tried by military commission, the military judge has a duty to inquire into the voluntariness of the guilty plea before it may be accepted.  In this case, the military judge questioned Muhammed at length and then indicated she was satisfied that the accused understood his rights, that the plea was voluntary, and that there was a legal and factual basis for the plea.

In all military commissions, a panel of military officers known as “members” determines the sentence when there is a finding of guilt.  At a hearing, the defense and prosecution will each have an opportunity to present evidence and argument to the members to aid them in determining a sentence.  The terms of the agreement are not disclosed to the members and will be disclosed to the public after the sentence is announced.