Saturday, May 10, 2008

More Problems with the Military Commissions

A military judge has refused to set a trial date for Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr until the government complies with his order to turn over logs of Khadr's detention. Khadr was 15 when he was captured in Afghanistan. His military lawyers argued Khadr was tortured and that any statements he made as a result should not be admissible in his Commission trial. They claimed interrogators in Afghanistan threatened him with rape and abused him physically. One of Khadr's lawyers, Lt. Commander William Kuebler, stated "Picture a 15-year-old boy with those types of injuries being forced with his arms chained like this for extended period of time in Bagram, and think about the effect that would have on him and his willingness to co-operate with interrogators." The Toronto Star and Jurist have more details.

In another case a military judge barred Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Hartmann from having any more involvement in the first Military Commission trial. The judge ruled that Hartmann was aligned with the prosecution and therefore not neutral and unbiased. According to the NY Times, the chief Guantanamo prosecutor, Col. Morris D. Davis, stated "the general interfered in the work of the military prosecution office, pushed for closed-door proceedings and pressed to rely on evidence obtained through techniques that critics call torture."

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