On April 16, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted Guantanamo detainee and alleged USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim Hussein Muhammed al-Nashiri’s petition for a writ of mandamus and vacated all orders issued by former military judge Col. Vance Spath during a 28-month period on account of Spath’s failure to disqualify himself due to an apparent conflict of interest.
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The military commission for Majid Shoukat Khan, who pleaded guilty to charges related to his role as a low-level al-Qaeda operative in 2012, reconvened on April 1, after a hiatus since July 2018.
Last Week at the Military Commissions: Bug Sweeps, Defendants’ Sixth Amendment Confrontation Rights, Existence of Pre-9/11 Hostilities and More
In a session cut short by a stay from the Court of Military Commission Review (CMCR), the military commission in United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, et al. (i.e., the 9/11 military commission) reconvened on March 25-27. See here for previous Lawfare coverage.
On March 21, the U.S. Court of Military Commission Review (CMCR) upheld Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman al Bahlul’s conviction and life sentence for conspiracy to commit war crimes. The court also dismissed Bahlul’s challenge that the military commission that convicted him lacked jurisdiction because the appointment of the convening authority (CA) for the military commissions was statutorily and constitutionally improper.
The military commission trying alleged al-Qaeda commander Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi reconvened on March 6, after a nearly two-month hiatus. This one-day session recapped party conferences since the last session and the defense counsel’s allegations that the government was inhibiting the discovery process.
Last Week at the Military Commissions: Defense Teams Assert Conflict in Session Cut Short by Medical Emergency
On Jan. 28 and 29, the military commission in United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, et al. (the 9/11 military commission) reconvened for pretrial proceedings, picking up from its November sitting. The session was scheduled to last for a week but was cut short on Tuesday due to a medical emergency on the part of the military judge, Col. Keith Parrella.
On Jan. 22, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral argument in In re: Abd Al-Rahim Hussein Al-Nashiri. Judges Judith Rogers, David Tatel and Thomas Griffith reviewed Abd Al Rahim Hussein Al-Nashiri’s (“Al-Nashiri”) request for a writ of mandamus and prohibition directing the vacatur of the orders convening the military commission which tried him.
The military commission trying alleged al-Qaeda commander Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi reconvened from Jan. 7-14, after a break in proceedings beginning in November 2018. The bulk of the session focused on Hadi’s medical status and accommodations being made to enable his participation in proceedings, and the commission heard testimony from Hadi’s neurosurgeon, the camp senior medical officer (SMO), and the commander of the Joint Detention Group (JDG).
On Tuesday, 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed petitioned the D.C. Circuit for a writ of mandamus, asking that his trial by military commission be halted until the Court of Military Commissions Review appoints a panel to address contested issues in his case. The full document is below.
On Friday, the judge United States v. Khalid Shaikh Mohammad et al. (i.e., the 9/11 military commission), Col. Keith Parrella, rejected a defense motion to dismiss the case on the grounds of unlawful influence on the part of former defense secretary James Mattis and former Defense Department Acting General Counsel William Castle.