A war crimes tribunal at the US base in Guantanamo Bay has been adjourned in dramatic circumstances after a Yemeni demanded the right to defend himself.
Legal challenges to the tribunal process are mounting
Defence and prosecution lawyers must prepare motions on whether Ali Hamza al-Bahlul's request should be allowed.
The proceedings were fraught with translation difficulties - at one point the defendant appeared to admit he was a member of al-Qaeda.
But commission members were warned this should not be taken as evidence.
The BBC's Daniel Lak at the tribunal in Cuba says Mr Bahlul has been refusing for months to deal with the military lawyers appointed to represent him.
Mr Bahlul, who faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder and terrorist attacks, wants to defend himself or have a Yemeni lawyer.
"If the American system will not allow me to defend myself, then I will be forced to attend and I will be a listener only," Mr Bahlul told the tribunal through a translator.
The US military alleges Mr Bahlul is a "key al-Qaeda propagandist" who produced videos that glorified the murder of Americans and sought new al-Qaeda recruits.
Almost 600 detainees are held at Guantanamo
He also is accused of serving as a bodyguard for al-Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden.
At one point during an animated exchange with a judge, Mr Bahlul appeared to say through an Arabic interpreter: "As God is my witness, and the United States did not put any pressure on me, I am an al-Qaeda member."
The panel's presiding officer, Colonel Peter Brownback, cut him off.
The hearing was then adjourned and no date set for the next one.
Our correspondent says Mr Bahlul's challenge underlines the difficulties that face the military process the United States has set up to try detainees from its "war on terror".
He says it was unclear whether Mr Bahlul intended to make such a dramatic statement or whether what appeared to be
faulty translation of earlier questions from the judge had influenced him.
Nadia Charters of the Arabic-language al-Arabiya TV network told the AFP news agency she was shocked by the standard of translation.
Just 15 of 585 detainees in Guantanamo Bay have so far been designated to appear before the commission.
Legal challenges to the process are mounting, from human rights groups, civilian lawyers, and now from defendants themselves.