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16 Feb, 2010 04:37

Criminal justice or military tribunal?

The Obama administration is considering "multiple options" for trying the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks - Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

But the idea of holding the trial in a New York court – or by special military tribunal instead – has sparked a furious row with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden accusing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg of exaggerating the estimated trial costs.

Biden has said that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg exaggerated and inflated the potential cost that the 9/11 trial would come to if held in New York City.

Hundreds of millions of dollars that Bloomberg has suggested are actually much more than would have been needed, Biden said.

Over the past few days the White House has reconsidering holding the trial in New York and, rather, in the form of a criminal hearing. US officials are saying that trying Haled Sheikh Mohammed in a military tribunal is a distinct possibility.

Legal experts are saying that there is a very big difference between a military tribunal and the criminal justice system for the simple reason that the criminal justice system has been around for two hundred years and the military tribunal has no charted system of how trials should be held.