Oddly Enough

9/11 suspect gets veto power over court sketch

GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - Accused September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed objected that a courtroom sketch artist had made his nose look too wide on Thursday and sent her back to revise the drawing.

“He didn’t like the nose,” artist Janet Hamlin said.

Mohammed asked Hamlin to obtain a copy of a photo taken shortly after his 2003 capture in Pakistan and redraw the nose to look as it did in that picture, the artist said.

Mohammed and four accused co-conspirators appeared in court at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base in Cuba for the first time on charges of conspiring with al Qaeda and murdering nearly 3,000 people in the 2001 hijacked plane attacks on the United States.

Cameras are banned in the top-security courtroom so news organizations hired Hamlin to sketch the scene. Military censors review Guantanamo courtroom sketches before they can be released to ensure they do not reveal any national secrets.

But Thursday’s hearing marked the first time defendants themselves were granted the right to approve their likenesses.

“It’s a defence attorney issue,” said Navy Cmdr. J.D. Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman. “It’s remarkable the lengths we go to to take their desires into considerations.”

Reporting by Jane Sutton; Editing by Tom Brown