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Sept. 11 defendant seeks to fire his lead defense attorney

Sept. 11 defendant seeks to fire his lead defense attorney; judge may rule Thursday

Sept. 11 defendant seeks to fire his lead defense attorney

FORT MEADE, Maryland (AP) -- One of five Guantanamo Bay detainees charged in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack wants to fire his lead defense attorney.

Walid Bin Atash of Yemen made the request Wednesday during a pretrial hearing at the U.S. base in Cuba. His reasons for wanting to release civilian attorney Cheryl Bormann were not publicly disclosed.

The military judge is Army Col. James Pohl, and he could rule as soon as Thursday. He scheduled a closed session Wednesday afternoon to question Bin Atash.

Bormann has represented Bin Atash at government expense since July 2011 because of her expertise with death-penalty cases. Finding a replacement could significantly delay the trial of those charged in the 2001 attack.

The Associated Press covered the hearing from a closed-circuit video feed at Fort Meade, near Baltimore.