FORT MEADE, UNITED STATES - A Yemeni accused of the September 11 attacks walked out of a courtroom at Guantanamo Bay on Tuesday, claiming that the lack of food he received amounts to "psychological torture."
Ramzi Binalshibh, one of five men on trial over the hijacking and crashing of airliners that killed almost 3,000 people in the United States in 2001, said after lunch that he could not continue under the circumstances.
"I cannot remain here. There are big problems with the food provided. This is a daily practice... when I go to hearings and I go to meetings with my lawyer, they don't bring us food," he said in Arabic, which was translated.
"This is one type of psychological torture," added Binalshibh, the only suspect to appear Tuesday, the second day of the latest preliminary hearing broadcast via a video link to a US military base at Fort Meade, in Maryland.
Self-declared 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - wearing camouflage garb and his beard tinted with henna - appeared in the military court at the US prison in Cuba with his four co-defendants on Monday.
All face the death penalty if convicted of plotting the attacks on New York and Washington. Preliminary hearings in the case began in May 2012.
Binalshibh, wearing a white robe and a traditional Arab headdress, said that the problems over food applied not just to him but to "my brothers as well."
A military spokesman, US Naval Captain Robert Durand, said Binalshibh had been provided with a freshly-prepared standard detainee halal meal during the court hearing's lunch recess.