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Category Archives: Event Coverage: Military Commissions

8/15 Session: Hashing Out a Protective Order

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Military judge J. Kirk Waits begins Monday’s session in the military commission case against Hadi with some housekeeping matters: the detailing of a new member of the defense team, Lt. Col. Thomas Jasper, and the release of an outgoing member, Lt. Col. Chris Callen. The commission explains that it will not release Callen until his orders expire at the end of . . .
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8/14 Session #2: On Severing Al-Hawsawi

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Friday, August 15, 2014 at 7:49 PM

With no more conflict motions for today, the Special Review Team swaps out and the normal prosecutors come back. The court begins with AE 299, a motion by Mustafa al-Hawsawi’s defense team seeking to sever his case from the rest of the accused so that his case can proceed while the others deal with the many conflict issues. CDR . . .
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8/14 Session #1: Conflicts, Conflicts Everywhere

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Friday, August 15, 2014 at 11:26 AM

After agreeing Wednesday to reconsider the severance of Ramzi Binalshibh from the other four accused in the 9/11 case, Judge Pohl reconvenes the commission on Thursday with a full house—all five accused, their defense teams, and the Special Review Team on behalf of the government. The usual prosecution team is recused from the morning’s proceedings so the . . .
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8/13 Session: Severance, Re-Reconsidered

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Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Army Col. James Pohl starts Wednesday’s brief session begins with a summary of where things stand in the case of United States v. Binalshibh: On Monday, the prosecution presented argument on its motion for reconsideration of the court-ordered severance of Binalshibh from the other four accused in the 9/11 case, with an oral response from the defense before filing its opposition. Today, the defense . . .
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8/11 Session #1: Severance, Reconsidered

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Monday, August 11, 2014 at 10:25 AM

The military judge, Army Col. James Pohl, takes the bench.  Only one accused is present: Ramzi Binalshibh, whose case the court recently separated out from that against the other four accused in the 9/11 case.  His lawyers are there too, including Jim Harrington and LCDR Bogucki. The court opens by summarizing the state of play, . . .
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8/6 Motions Hearing #2: MRIs and Skype

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Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 10:19 AM

When the court returns from recess, the parties move into argument on AE277, the defense’s motion for a judicial order compelling an MRI of Al-Nashiri’s brain to determine if he has brain damage. The defense presents two lines of argument. First, Rick Kammen, Al-Nashiri’s Learned Counsel, says his client needs the MRI for medical treatment, and . . .
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8/6 Motions Hearing #1: Tu Quoque

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Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Judge Spath begins today’s hearings noting that Al-Nashiri is not present. The court first hears testimony from the Guantanamo Staff Judge Advocate who had received Al-Nashiri’s waiver, Captain G, who walks through the standard certifications that the waiver was voluntary. The proceedings quickly turn contentious. Learned Defense Counsel Richard Kammen then stands and questions Captain . . .
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8/5 Motions Hearing #4: On the MCA’s Constitutionality and Statutes of Limitation

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 8:16 PM

Judge Spath then moves to AE 295, a defense filing and the penultimate item on the agenda.  It’s a constitutional broadside against the commissions’ authorizing legislation. Major Hurley rises for the defense and asks that all charges be dismissed against al-Nashiri, “because the Military Commissions Act of 2009 is unconstitutional, specifically because it is designed . . .
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8/5 Motions Hearing #3: Cole Photographs and the Yemen Friendship Agreement

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 6:12 PM

In the final session for the day, Judge Spath announces he has come to a ruling on AE277.  This is the defense’s bid for Al-Nashiri to have an MRI examination, presumably in order to unearth the damage wrought by his abuse at CIA hands. The item had been the subject of a secret Rule 505(h) . . .
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Al-Nashiri Motions Hearing: August 5 Session

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 4:36 PM

A reminder: Lawfare has digests of yesterday’s pre-trial proceedings in United States v. Al-Nashiri available in our “Events Coverage” section; you will find links to Lauren Bateman’s dispatches below, too. 8/5 Motions Hearing #1: Death Penalty Procedures and Mitigation Experts  8/5 Motions Hearing #2: Things Classified 8/5 Motions Hearing #3: Cole Photographs and the Yemen Friendship Agreement 8/5 . . .
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8/5 Motions Hearing #2: Things Classified

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 9:15 AM

When the Court reconvenes, Major Tom Hurley begins argument on AE 280. In it, the defense requests that summaries of classified discovery be marked with more granular classification information.  Specifically, the defense objects to the government’s practice of marking whole documents as classified; instead, the defense wants the government to go through the process of reviewing the . . .
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8/5 Motions Hearing #1: Death Penalty Procedures and Mitigation Experts

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 10:10 PM

The military judge, Air Force Col. Vance Spath, begins the morning’s hearing in United States v. Al-Nashiri—his second on the case—by ruling on two pending motions. First, Judge Spath grants defense motion AE 305, in which the detainee’s lawyers had asked the new military judge to block his predecessor, Army Col. James L. Pohl from resolving certain outstanding motions . . .
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8/4 Session #5: Things 120, Part Two

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Monday, August 4, 2014 at 4:03 PM

CIA discovery—the subject of Judge Pohl’s ruling in AE120C, and a subsequent order on reconsideration—is still before us. In motion AE120BB, the defense seeks a timeline for getting its hands on such discovery under Judge Pohl’s order. Maybe AE120BB will be moot in time, forecasts Al-Nashiri’s Learned Counsel, Richard Kammen. In the event that it . . .
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8/4 Motions Hearing #4: Things 120, Part One

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Monday, August 4, 2014 at 2:35 PM

And lo, defense motion AE120S is before us. In it, the defense moves to compel production of an index of outstanding and denied discovery. But its not just any discovery we’re talking about, as Capt. Daphne Jackson explains: no, this index concerns the discovery, ordered by Judge Pohl in AE120C, into Al-Nashiri’s quite secret and . . .
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8/4 Motions Hearing #3: Which Judges Get to Decide What

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Monday, August 4, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Not too long after lunch’s conclusion, court and counsel confront the question: will Judge Spath recuse himself from service as presiding judge, having served on the case for only a few weeks? Nope. Explaining his ruling from the bench, Judge Spath says that a disinterested person wouldn’t see a real or perceived problem with his continued . . .
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8/4 Session #2: A New Judge, Part Two

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Monday, August 4, 2014 at 12:01 PM

We continue with Learned Counsel Richard Kammen’s questioning of Air Force Col. Vance Spath, the case’s new and recently detailed military judge. The defense has asked Judge Spath to recuse himself, given the involvement of another of Al-Nashiri’s attorneys, CDR Brian Mizer, in the ongoing appeal of the high profile Witt court martial—in which Judge Spath served . . .
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8/4 Session #1: A New Judge, Part One

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Monday, August 4, 2014 at 10:40 AM

The scene on the grainy Fort Meade screen is different: there’s a new judge. Consistent with a recent and abrupt change-up in the case, the judicial bench is filled today not by Army Col. James Pohl, but by his recently named successor, Air Force Col. Vance Spath. The latter is the Chief Judge of the . . .
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Chief Prosecutor Statement on Yesterday’s Arraignment in Al-Iraqi

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Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Here it is.  The text opens: Good afternoon. Today Abd al Hadi al-Iraqi—an Iraqi national whose records indicate was born as Nashwan Abd al Razzaq in 1961 in the city of Mosul—was arraigned before a United States military commission on charges that, as a senior member of Al Qaeda, he conspired with and led others . . .
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6/18 Session #1: That Was Fast

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 2:52 PM

It’s go time at the Expeditionary Legal Complex, Courtroom Two. After some shuffling of papers and adjusting of microphones, the military judge, Navy Capt. J. Kirk Waits, calls the initial hearing to order. Civilian prosecutor Mikeal Clayton rises and ticks off various housekeeping points: the referral of charges per Guantanamo rules, the closed-circuit broadcast of the . . .
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Abd Al Hadi Al-Iraqi Arraignment

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 1:49 PM

This afternoon, Abd Al-Hadi Al-Iraqi will be arraigned before a military commission at Guantanamo. As per usual, video and audio of the pre-trial proceedings will be zapped, via closed circuit television, to Fort Meade’s Smallwood Hall; and as per usual, Lawfare will travel to Smallwood, view the broadcast and post almost-live dispatches in our “Events Coverage” section. . . .
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