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Defense lawyers in Guantanamo war tribunals are upset over third party monitoring, document disappearance

They're the men allegedly behind some of the worst terrorist attacks on the U.S.  As work at the Guantanamo Bay prison facility winds down, the Pentagon prepares to hold special war tribunals -- military trials -- for prisoners deemed too dangerous to release.

I. Defense Discovers Documents Delete, Smoke Alarms Were Really Mics

Those prisoners include five men responsible for helping plan the September 11 terrorist attacks.  They also include Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, who masterminded an attack on the USS Cole during its deployment to Yemen, an attack that killed 17 U.S. sailors.

But the pretrial hearings, which were supposed to start this week in some cases may be delayed due to allegations of foul play, according to Reuters.

Smoke alarm
What appeared to be smoke alarms in client meeting rooms were really disguised microphones.
[Image Source: Adeoma]

Defense lawyers for several of the suspects, who face the death penalty say they have evidence that their emails and internet searches were monitored by third parties.  And they say documents involved with the case began to disappear from their assigned Pentagon computers in February.  


Navy Commander Walter Ruiz represents Mustafa al Hawsawi, who is alleged with funneling funding for the 9/11 attacks. Ruiz states, "three to four weeks' worth of work is gone, vanished."

Aside from deletions, there was also evidence that prosecutors ordered system administrators to grant them access to 500,000 files on defense lawyers machines, files which included confidential attorney-client communications.  The Guantanamo detention camp's legal advisor also revealed that device that appeared to be smoke alarms in rooms where defense attorneys met with their clients were really microphones; but don't worry -- he claimed no conversations between the lawyers and their clients were recorded.

II. Human Rights Watchers: Trial "is a Sham"

International human rights watchdog group Human Rights First blasted the latest developments as "absolutely outrageous".  Its expert on the current proceedings -- Daphne Eviatar comments, "This is just further evidence that the military commission system is a sham and that all terrorism trials should be held in real U.S. federal courts on U.S. soil, where the rules are clear, defendants' rights are respected and the verdicts will have credibility."

Guantanamo Bay
Human rights watchers have complained that the Guantanamo Bay proceedings are a sham.
[Image Source: Getty Images]

The issues have been so severe that Colonel Karen Mayberry has advised the defense lawyers to stop storing case documents on Pentagon machines.  James Connell, a defense attorney for Ali Abdul Aziz Ali (aka Ammar al-Baluchi) -- the other alleged 9/11 plot funding funneler -- comments "I'll be filing a handwritten motion very shortly to ask for an abatement of the proceedings."

Given the extraordinary and unusual circumstances Army Colonel James Pohl -- the presiding judge in the trials -- has already delayed the pre-trial hearings of al Nashiri till June and is considering pushing the death penalty trial for the 9/11 conspirators as well.

Until February the preliminary hearings were being broadcast to the public and media via a closed circuit.  But the judge in February ordered those feeds cut, around the same time the alleged harassment of defense lawyers began.

Source: Reuters



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RE: Trials? Juries?
By ipay on 4/18/2013 8:48:53 AM , Rating: 2
#1
quote:
That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;


Of course when writing this you considered, that:

A US military tribunal has ruled that wearing enemy uniforms BEFORE combat operations is "fine" with them. Or is your argument that you are actually sure none of them was wearing a "distinctive sign recognizable at a distance" during combat operations?

See

quote:
Paragraph 43 of the Field Manual published by the War Department, United States Army, on 1st October, 1940, under the title " Rules of Land Warfare ", says: " National flags, insignias and uniforms as a ruse-in practice it has been authorised to make use of these as a ruse. The foregoing rule (Article 23 of the Annex of the IVth Hague Convention), does not prohibit such use, but does prohibit their improper use. It is certainly forbidden to make use of them during a combat. Before opening fire upon the enemy, they must be discarded ". The American Soldiers' Handbook, which was quoted by Defence Counsel, says: " The use of the enemy flag, insignia and uniform is permitted under some circumstances. They are not to be used during actual fighting, and if used in order to approach the enemy without drawing fire, should be thrown away or removed as soon as fighting begins ".


-----------------

#2
quote:
That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war


What exactly are you refering to? The heavily disputed "legality" of drone strikes? War crimes committed by the "kill team", Academi (former XE serivces, former Blackwater)? ...

How do war crimes/... justify randomly arresting people and not giving them a fair trial? Just go ahead and shoot them or sentence them without any defense/lawyer, but stop pretending there was a fair trial because at this point this is just laughable.

#3
On Guantanamo in general:

If you at least looked up Guantanamo on wikipedia you'd see that pretty much everyone argues that it is not legal.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guantanamo_Bay_detent...

- Martin Scheinin, a United Nations rapporteur on rights
- The International Committee of the Red Cross ("Every person in enemy hands must have some status under international law: he is either a prisoner of war ... a civilian covered by the Fourth Convention, ... there is no intermediate status; nobody in enemy hands can fall outside the law.")
- Henry T. King, Jr., a prosecutor for the Nuremberg Trials

I think I'll side with the ICRC on this one.

#4
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