What is involved in defending some of the most despised men in the world? Edward B. MacMahon is a veteran trial lawyer based in Washington, DC who served as counsel to Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person charged in an American court with having a role in the 9/11 attacks.
He presently is counsel to Walid Muhammad Salih Bin'Attash in a trial before a military commission at Guantanamo. Bin'Attash is charged with bombing the U.S.S. Cole and with the 9/11 attacks.
Edward MacMahon Jr.
Edward MacMahon has been practicing criminal law since 1986, and has represented numerous clients charged with offenses related to national security as well as clients facing the death penalty. For example, in the 1980s, Mr. MacMahon represented one of the Army officers tried by Court Martial in the Iran-Contra case.
More recently, he was lead counsel in the case of United States v. al-Timimi, who was charged with soliciting others to levy war against the United States and inducing others to use firearms in violation of federal law. Although that case is currently on appeal, it was recently sent back to the district court for further proceedings regarding claims that Dr. al-Timimi was subject to the warrantless wiretapping.
Mr. MacMahon also represented Zacarias Moussaoui, who was charged with crimes related to the attacks of September 11, 2001. Although the government sought the death penalty in that case, a jury ultimately elected to spare his life. That case remains, until any cases are tried in Guantanamo, the only trial involving the September 11th attacks. According to the government, the Moussaoui case involved the largest quantity of classified evidence ever produced in a criminal case requiring dozens of hearings to address the use and admissibility of that evidence.
Edward MacMahon, defense attorney for convicted 9/11 terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, describes interrogation techniques used on Mohammed al-Kahtani, a witness and fellow Guantánamo detainee, who was barred from testifying in court at Moussaoui's trial.
Edward MacMahon, defense attorney for convicted 9/11 terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, describes the courtroom at Gitmo, which he says is designed to prevent unwanted information from leaking to the public.
"Guantánamo is the perfect place to actually bury all of this information," says MacMahon, referring to the courtroom's soundproof glass and power kill button.