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Category Archives: Event Coverage: Military Commissions

3/3 Session #3: To Reconsider

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 2:43 PM

Lunch hour concludes at Guantanamo and at Fort Meade. Thus we come to AE248H, the prosecution’s motion to reconsider Judge Spath’s prior ruling, that granted a defense motion and excluded certain evidence of Al-Nashiri’s “wanton disregard for human life,” so far as concerns the charge of terrorism against the accused. In short, the government desires . . .
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3/3 Session #2: Housekeeping

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 11:10 AM

We return from recess. What will the way forward be?  The military judge mentions pending motions AE319F and G, and AE333, and AE337.  In his view, Judge Spath may be able to rule on some of these without in-court argument, between now and the case’s next session in April. His meaning is clear: “There’s only . . .
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3/3 Session #1: Suppression, and SSCI Matters

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 10:39 AM

Air Force Col. Vance Spath, the military judge, resumes proceedings.  The question is what those proceedings will comprise, the docket having been winnowed greatly, both by yesterday’s unlawful influence ruling and by some still unresolved questions about classified material.  Could there be unclassified argument with respect to AE319F and AE333?  (It seems the issue of . . .
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3/2 Session #3: Odds and Ends

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Monday, March 2, 2015 at 3:37 PM

Motion AE319J is next. In it, the defense asks to postpone the government’s bid to admit hearsay, pending the Court of Military Commission Review’s (“CMCR”) resolution of an interlocutory appeal concerning charges against Al-Nashiri pertaining to the Limburg.  (As readers likely know, Judge Spath dismissed charges touching Al-Nashiri’s role in the attack on that vessel; . . .
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3/2 Session #2: How to Do Hearsay

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Monday, March 2, 2015 at 2:12 PM

The lunch hour comes to a close and we go back in the record in United States v. Al-Nashiri.   What’s the way forward?  We wonder, given Judge Vance Spath’s prior ruling on unlawful influence, which excised any and all evidentiary hearings from the week’s agenda, and shortened an April hearing to boot. Some discussion . . .
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3/2 Session #1: Unlawful Influence

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Monday, March 2, 2015 at 11:36 AM

The military judge, Air Force Col. Vance Spath, ascends the bench.  Our proceedings return to order. And they begin with a bang: That is, with the court partially granting defense motion AE332, regarding unlawful influence owing to actions of the Defense Department and the commissions’ Convening Authority, retired Marine Maj. Gen. Vaughn Ary.  A written ruling, . . .
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2/9 Session #2: The Translator, Part Two

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Monday, February 9, 2015 at 10:59 AM

Our session is once more called to order.  The defense and accused are here, but now the Special Review Team is not—its place having been taken by the ordinary prosecution team.  (The two groups, you’ll recall, maintain strict independence from one another, given the conflict allegations arising from the FBI’s approach to a member of . . .
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2/9 Session #1: The Translator

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Monday, February 9, 2015 at 9:10 AM

The gavel bangs. The military judge, Army Col. James L. Pohl, calls the proceedings to order. Members of the prosecution are absent, their place taken by a Special Review Team that has been looking into conflict allegations involving one accused, Ramzi Binalshibh. Housekeeping: LCDR Kevin Bogucki asks to withdraw as the latter’s counsel, owing to . . .
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11/18 Session #2: Now or Later, Part Two

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 3:11 PM

The prosecutor, Lt. Col. David Long, finishes his arguments regarding whether to push back argument on motion AE21, Al Hadi’s challenge to physical touching by female Guantanamo guards.   Long says no. But Al Hadi’s attorney, Lt. Col. Tom Jasper, says yes.  He rises and underscores the breaking-news aspect of the facts, as revealed during Long’s earlier . . .
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11/18 Session #1: Now or Later, Part One

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Judge Waits ascends the bench and the hearing once more comes to order.  It seems Al-Hadi is here, along with attorneys for both sides. Housekeeping: The military judge explains that yesterday and this morning, Rule 802 conferences were held (two with both parties and Judge Waits; one with only the government and Judge Waits), regarding . . .
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11/17 Session #4: Discovery, Both Bergdahl-Related and Not

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Monday, November 17, 2014 at 2:00 PM

In AE18, Lt. Col. Tom Jasper seeks, on behalf of Al-Hadi, to compel discovery into certain communications—those between the Convening Authority and Defense Department brass, regarding the release of Private Bowe Bergdahl. The lawyer recites the facts: the charges against Jasper’s client were first sworn in February of 2013, and forwarded to the Convening Authority some . . .
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11/17 Session #3: Common Allegations, Part Two

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Monday, November 17, 2014 at 11:26 AM

We return from recess, and Clayton resumes his argument in opposition to AE19—a motion to strike common allegations from the charge sheet against Al-Hadi. Clayton refers to Stirk’s suggestion that the law requires prosecutors to make spare or few allegations in a conspiracy case; he says he knows of no authority to that effect. And . . .
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11/17 Session #2: Common Allegations, Part One

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Monday, November 17, 2014 at 10:43 AM

In motion AE19, the defense asks the court to strike certain common allegations from the charge sheet. One of Al-Hadi’s lawyers, Maj. Ben Stirk, explains why. The incorporation of “common allegations” into the charge sheet is essentially an end-run by prosecutors——one meant to permit the members to see the government’s entire case, at trial, before . . .
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11/17 Session #1: Article 5?

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Monday, November 17, 2014 at 10:06 AM

The military judge, Capt. Keith Waits, calls our session to order.  All parties are present, including the accused.  That means a quick colloquy about Al-Hadi’s right to be present, the consequences of knowingly and intelligently waiving that right, and so on.  Does he understand the right to be here, and the risks of deciding not . . .
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ICYMI: Coverage of Last Week’s Hearing in Al-Nashiri

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Monday, November 10, 2014 at 10:44 AM

ICYMI, GTMO policy folks: Matt Danzer’s final round of digests on last week’s hearing in United States v. Al-Nashiri can be found below, and in our “Events Coverage” section.  (Earlier coverage of the hearing is here, too.) Enjoy. 11/5 Session #4: Statements, Transcripts, and Questionnaires 11/6 Session: Fighting Over MRIs and Hearsay

11/6 Session: Fighting Over MRIs & Hearsay

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Monday, November 10, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Thursday’s session opens with an update on AE 284, the defense motion seeking Skype calls for Al-Nashiri, from prosecution attorney Col. Robert Moscati. The prosecution has learned that the Guantanamo administrators expects to be able to provide direct interactive communication between high-value detainees and their family members by the end of the year. The parties . . .
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11/5 Session #4: Statements, Transcripts, and Questionnaires

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Monday, November 10, 2014 at 10:37 AM

The final session for the day begins with AE 314C, a defense motion to compel testimony at the hearing on a defense motion to suppress statements made by Al-Nashiri. Capt. Daphne Jackson explains that in order for the defense to prove the underlying motion—seeking suppression of some of Al-Nashiri’s statements due to the length of his detention . . .
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11/5 Session #3: On the Necessity of the Death Penalty

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Friday, November 7, 2014 at 6:32 PM

The parties return for the afternoon session and Judge Spath begins by laying out his thinking on the previous motion seeking supervised telephone and Skype calls between Al-Nashiri and his family. In the interest of moving this issue forward, the judge would like to understand why a supervised and delayed-transmission telephone or Skype conversation between Al-Nashiri and his family is unacceptable . . .
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Al-Nashiri Motions Hearing: Nov. 5 Session

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Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Hey GTMO fans: the estimable Matt Danzer’s digests of yesterday’s hearing in this capital Guantanamo military commissions case can be found below, and in our “Events Coverage” section. Keep an eye on this space; we will update this post with more digests throughout the day. 11/5 Session #1: Arguing to Reargue 11/5 Session #2: Skyping with HVDs . . .
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11/5 Session #2: Skyping With HVDs

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Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 10:00 AM

The commission returns from recess and prepares to consider AE 284 and 284L, a defense motion and supplement seeking to allow Al-Nashiri to hold supervised Skype calls with his elderly parents. Before that, however, defense attorney Richard Kammen informs Judge Spath that Al-Nashiri has an upset stomach due to his transportation and would like a corpsman to bring some dissolvable . . .
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