Terrorism Trials: Military Commissions

Al-Nashiri: USG Appeals Dismissal of French Oil Tanker Charges

By Wells Bennett
Friday, September 19, 2014, 2:48 PM

The United States today appealed an adverse ruling in the capital military commission case against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. The Guantanamo detainee stands accused, among other things, of orchestrating the 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole---and in playing a role in another attack against the M/V Limburg, a French oil tanker.

Only legally controversial counts regarding the latter are it issue for purposes of the new appeal. During pre-trial litigation, prosecutors had alleged in their briefs---but did present evidence to support---facts that, in the government's thinking, were sufficient to confer military commission jurisdiction over the Limburg-related charges. That prompted the military judge, Air Force Col. Vance Spath, to knock them out last month.

At the time, I speculated that the United States would ask seek reconsideration pronto, and they did. This week, Judge Spath rejected prosecutors' motion in that regard (the ruling is noted on the commissions' website but not yet available); I now understand that the United States today has filed an interlocutory appeal, to the United States Court of Military Commission Review, regarding the Limburg charges

Stay tuned...