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Defense attorney for Sept. 11 suspect speaks at Gonzaga

A Boise lawyer working on the defense team for a suspect in the 9-11 terrorist attack in New York is not asking for sympathy for his client, just fairness.

Scott McKay, a 1990 Gonzaga Law School graduate who spoke at a daylong seminar on campus today, is a member of the defense team for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who prosecutors consider the mastermind of the attack on the World Trade Center in Manhattan.

“I’m not asking anyone to feel sorry for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. We have to be fair. We have to appear to be fair to the rest of the world,” McKay said.

“Torture, rendition, disappearing a person. That’s not what we do. That’s what other countries do.” He said one of the lessons to be learned in the aftermath of Sept. 11 is “it is so important that we adhere to our core values.”

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has said he was tortured in order to force a confession of his role in the New York attack. “I really question the value of intelligence derived from torture,” McKay said. “Experts say a person being tortured will say anything to end the torture.”

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