MIAMI (AP) — A prominent U.S. military judge has removed himself from the death penalty trial at Guantanamo Bay for the prisoner accused of orchestrating the deadly attack on the USS Cole.
Army Col. James Pohl issued an order Thursday appointing another military judge to preside over the case against Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri. The trial had been scheduled to start early next year but is likely to be postponed.
The Cole bombing in October 2000 killed 17 U.S. sailors and wounded 39.
Pohl says he removed himself because of scheduling conflicts with the trial of the five Guantanamo Bay prisoners charged in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Pohl is the chief trial judge of the military commission and has presided over a number of major cases.