But that is a fundamental tenet of American jurisprudence, that crimes are tried in the places where they occur.
QUESTION: Are you confident that they will actually be able to stand trial, that they'll be found mentally competent, and that their harsh interrogation techniques, like waterboarding -- that they'll still be able to go to trial despite that?
HOLDER: I would not have authorized the bringing of these prosecutions unless I thought that the outcome -- in the outcome, we would ultimately be successful.
I will say that I have access to information that has not been publicly released that gives me great confidence that we will be successful in the prosecution of these cases in federal court.
QUESTION: Attorney General, can you say where you expect these military commission to be held? Can you give some approximately how many more Gitmo cases you expect to bring to civilian trial in the United States?
HOLDER: We have not made any determinations yet as to where the military commissions will actually take place. And we are in the process of reviewing other cases to decide whether they will be brought in federal court or in military commissions. And I expect that we will be making additional announcements in the very near future.
QUESTION: Attorney General Holder, some critics have already spoken out saying this is a very bad decision. Congressman Peter King has been quoted as saying this makes New York more of a target.
How do you respond to that?
HOLDER: New York has a long history of trying these kinds of cases. The person who bombed the World Trade Centers back in, I guess, 1993 was tried there. The Blind Sheikh was tried there.
New York has a hardened system. We have talked to the Marshal Service there. An analysis was done about the capabilities that exist in New York, and I'm quite confident that we can safely hold people there, that we can protect the people who surround the courthouse area, and bring these cases successfully. So I don't think that that criticism is factually based.
QUESTION: At least one 9/11 family member has spoken up and said they're afraid that this trial in a civilian court will give the defendants a platform to spew their jihadi rhetoric and to ridicule the U.S. justice system.
QUESTION: Are you at all concerned about giving them that opportunity? Or do you think that won't happen?
HOLDER: Well, I am confident that whatever judge is assigned to this case will maintain the dignity of the proceedings and make sure that the only thing that gets on the record is that which is relevant, and that is the focus on whether or not the focus should be on guilt or innocence.
So I'm confident, as I am with regard -- I'm confident with regard to that particular judge, whoever he or she might be, as I am confident in all federal judges who have -- who have that capacity.
QUESTION: Can you tell us if -- if -- you can't ensure, obviously, an outcome. You can't ensure that these people will be -- will be convicted. What happens if they -- if they're not convicted? Will there be indefinite detention for those that are -- that are not convicted?
HOLDER: I would not have authorized the prosecution of these cases unless I was confident that our outcome would be a successful one.
QUESTION: General Holder -- sorry -- just to follow up on that, a lot of 9/11 family members or relatives of the victims have said consistently whether it's a military commission or this thing, or a civilian court, as my colleague pointed out, they're concerned that some judge could decide that somebody had done something wrong in the prosecution and spring these guys, or one of them, and that KSM could be wandering the streets of anywhere.
How do you assure the family members that that's not going to happen -- that these guys aren't going to be let go or exonerated somehow through a technicality, and be set free?Report Typo/Error