When last we left Lawfare readers, the prosecution in the United States v. al-Nashiri military commission had begun “preadmission” of evidence despite the ongoing refusal of defense counsel to participate.
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Pretrial activities in United States v. al-Nashiri shifted focus Nov. 8 and 10, as the prosecution began presenting witnesses and physical evidence from the USS Cole for preadmission by presiding judge Col. Vance Spath. Judge Advocate General Lt. Alaric Piette represented al-Nashiri in the courtroom and continued to assert that the defense cannot proceed without death penalty counsel.
Military commission proceedings in United States v. al-Nashiri continued Nov. 7 with military judge Col. Vance Spath presiding. Judge Advocate General Lt. Alaric Piette remains the sole counsel for the defense present.
Continuing with pretrial proceedings in United States v. al-Nashiri—which relates to the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole—military judge Col. Vance Spath called the commission to order Nov. 3 at 9:00 am. Defendant Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and his military judge advocate general, Navy Lt. Alaric Piette, were present for the defense.
As discussed in the last post in this series, on Wednesday, military judge Col. Vance Spath held Marine Corps Brig. Gen. John Baker, chief defense counsel of the military commissions, in contempt of court. He sentenced Baker to pay a $1000 fine and to be confined to quarters at Guantánamo Bay naval base for 21 days.
Picking up where the commission left off Tuesday, military judge Col. Vance Spath called the court to order for contempt proceedings. Present as ordered were Marine Corps Brig. Gen.
On Tuesday morning, military judge Col. Vance Spath called to order the military commission in the case of United States v. Al-Nashiri. The 10/31 session primarily addressed the absence of three civilian defense attorneys, including capital learned counsel, for al-Nashiri. Michel Paradis previously discussed the circumstances and implications of their departure on Lawfare.
Military judge James Pohl, the government, and the Walid Bin’Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali al-Bahlul, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, and Mustafa al-Hawsawi defense teams returned to continue plowing through discovery motions last week. During two days of nonclassified argumentation, the defendants in U.S. v Khalid Sheikh Mohammed et al. argued that the government has delayed, denied, and/or destroyed discovery documents.
The military commissions were busy last week in the case against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid bin Attash, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Ammar al-Baluchi (referred to as Aziz Ali), and Mustafa Ahmad al Hawsawi, commonly known as the 9/11 Five. Over the past few months, Lawfare has worked with a new format, reviewing the entirety of the substantive issues addressed in the previous week’s open sessions. This week, only the hearings Monday and Thursday were open; the hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday involved classified material and were closed to the public.
Military Commissions Chief Prosecutor Brigadier General Mark Martins released the following statement on Saturday on the occasion of last week's military commissions hearings in the case of Abd al Hadi al-Iraqi and this week's hearings in the 9/11 case.