First Obama-Era Military Commission Trial Scheduled

Saturday, May 09, 2009

So much for giving Guantánamo detainees their day in federal court. In spite of President Barack Obama’s pledge to do things differently from the Bush administration when it comes to suspected terrorists, the Pentagon’s legal system has quietly moved to once again begin the military court hearings for those held at the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, according to The Miami Herald. An Army judge, Colonel James L. Pohl, has scheduled detainee Ahmed Darbi to stand trial on May 27 for plotting to attack a ship in the Strait of Hormuz. Darbi, a Saudi and brother-in-law of one of the September 11 hijackers who flew into the Pentagon, is accused of having trained at an al-Qaeda camp in preparation for the assault that was never carried out.

Darbi’s trial would be the first since government lawyers requested a three-month delay in the military proceedings after President Obama first took office in January. The suspension was granted to give the new administration time to review the legal cases assembled against detainees by Bush officials.
Anonymous sources told The Washington Post that the Obama version of military commissions will not allow evidence extracted through “coercive interrogations,” but will allow the use of hearsay, something that is prohibited in federal courts and in military courts martial.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Obama Set to Revive Military Commissions (by Peter Finn, Washington Post)
Document: Judge Sets May 27 War Court Hearing (by Carol Rosenberg, Miami Herald)


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