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Category Archives: Event Coverage: Military Commissions: Al Nashiri Case

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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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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11/5 Session #1: Arguing to Reargue

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Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 9:50 AM

Military judge Vance Spath opens Wednesday’s motions proceedings with AE 181G, a defense request to reargue the underlying defense motion to remove the possibility of the death penalty for Al-Nashiri if he is not given access to classified information presented against him. Judge Spath notes that after the parties argued the underlying motion in February, . . .
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This Week’s Hearing in Al-Nashiri

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 9:03 AM

A little programming note here, y’all: today marks the first of a two-day, pre-trial hearing in the military commission case of United States v. Al-Nashiri.  But Lawfare unfortunately won’t be in the house, so to speak—which is to say that your correspondent will not be able to schlep out to Fort Meade, to watch and report back on . . .
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Chief Prosecutor Statement on This Week’s Hearing in Al-Nashiri

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 6:13 AM

Brig. Gen. Mark Martins’ remarks on the two-day pre-trial session, which commences today, can be found here.  (Note that the hearing will proceed, despite the pendency of the United States’ appeal of the dismissal of charges relating to Al-Nashiri’s alleged role in an attack on the M/V Limburg.) From the statement: Between pre-trial sessions, significant work . . .
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World War II-Era Herbert Weschler Memo on Conspiracy as War Crime

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Monday, September 8, 2014 at 4:20 PM

This is a pretty interesting document: A 1944 memo from Herbert Weschler, then assistant attorney general, outlining the U.S. government’s developing view of conspiracy as a war crime. The interesting thing is how similar the internal discussion of the subject in 1944 is to the one going on now in the Bahlul case—and how similar . . .
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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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