Five men accused of plotting the deadly September 11, 2001 attacks have been formally charged with crimes including murder and terrorism in a chaotic marathon hearing.
Confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the four other accused opted to defer their pleas at a military tribunal at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It lasted more than 13 hours.
The five face the death penalty if convicted for their roles in the terror attacks by al-Qaeda militants in which hijacked planes were used to strike New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, killing 2,976 people.
The defendants were charged with "conspiracy, attacking civilians, murder and violation of the law of war, destruction, hijacking and terrorism."
Mohammed, 47, was charged along with his Pakistani nephew Ali Abd al- Aziz Ali, also known as Ammar al- Baluchi; Mustapha al-Hawsawi of Saudi Arabia; and Yemenis Ramzi Binalshibh and Walid bin Attash.
After defying the court for more than nine hours by keeping silent, Mohammed and the co-defendants - in their first public appearance in three years - finally deferred their pleas.
"Maybe you're not going to see us any more," Binalshibh shouted out in a dramatic moment at the arraignment hearing, telling judge James Pohl: "You are going to kill us."
Dressed in white jumpsuits, with some wearing white turbans, the men mostly refused to engage with the court officials - reading what looked to be the Koran, keeping their eyes fixed on the ground, or kneeling to pray.
"Accused refused to answer," Pohl repeated over and over again.
The arraignment is one of the last steps before a so-called "trial of the century" can take place.
Mohammed's lawyer David Nevin said his client, who three years ago confessed to the 9/11 attacks "from A to Z," probably would not speak at the hearing because he is concerned by its fairness.
Mohammed was arrested in 2003 and spent three years in secret CIA jails where he was subjected to harsh interrogation techniques.
The Pentagon opened four military bases in the United States to allow families of the 9/11 victims to watch the hearing unfold on a giant screen.
The trial is not likely to begin for at least another year. AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE