Last week (and our apologies for the belated update), the D.C. Circuit released the public version of the appellant's brief in another habeas merits appeal, Al Harbi v. Obama. In this case, the government appeals Judge Henry Kennedy’s May 2010 order granting a writ of habeas corpus to petitioner Ravil Mingazov, a Russian national. In the brief, the government presents the issues as follows:
During the district court habeas proceedings, the government's evidence established that petitioner Ravil Mingazov: (1) traveled to Afghanistan with and received military-style training from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization linked with al Qaeda and the Taliban; (2) received military-style training from al Qaeda at the al Farouq training camp, and also received specialized training in explosives and poisons at another terrorist training camp in Afghanistan; (3) participated in battle with the Taliban against the Northern Alliance; and (4) retreated from Afghanistan to Pakistan following the invasion by the United States and coalition forces, where he stayed at al Qaeda or Taliban-associated safehouses.
The questions presented are:
- Whether the district court committed legal error by holding that the government's detention authority extends only to individuals who were part of a hierarchical command structure of al Qaeda, Taliban, or associated forces and who received and executed orders within that structure;
- Whether the district court committed legal error by examining the government's evidence in isolation, without considering whether separate pieces of inculpatory evidence were mutually corroborating, and without considering the evidence as a whole;
- Whether the district court abused its discretion by failing to credit an FBI interrogation report because of perceived interpretation, transcription, and drafting errors, where undisputed evidence established that there were no such errors; and
- Whether the evidence, when examined under the proper legal standard, compels the conclusion that Mingazov was part of al Qaeda or Taliban forces.