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Lawfare Podcast Episode #32: A Discussion with 9/11 Case Defense Lawyer CDR Walter Ruiz

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 5:00 PM

This week, I interviewed CDR Walter Ruiz, a lawyer for accused 9/11 co-conspirator Mustafa al-Hawsawi.

Our discussion touched on, among other things: the fairness of military commission rules; Ruiz’s contention that the rules allow evidence derived from torture; Ruiz’s own background; his experiences as capital defense counsel in history’s most closely-watched terrorism case;  and the burdens on commission defense lawyers.  Ruiz describes a lack of needed logistical resources, onerous secrecy restrictions, his concerns about the confidentiality of defense communications.

Regarding the latter, Ruiz mentioned some recent and widely-publicized mishaps in the case—such as a hidden third party’s cancellation of the courtroom’s audio feed, and the disclosure of defense emails to prosecutors—but suggested that these episodes are actually good the defense in that they have created possible issues for appeal.

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