Top DOD lawyers say charged terrorists should see all evidence against them

[JURIST] The Defense Department's top military lawyers testified [recorded audio] Thursday before the US House Armed Services Committee [official website], urging Congress to reject White House proposals that would keep some evidence from suspected terrorists who face prosecutions. The Bush administration submitted [JURIST report] the Military Commissions Act of 2006 [PDF text; White House fact sheet] Wednesday, which among other things calls for classified information to be kept private, but military lawyers including Maj. Gen. Scott Black [official profile; prepared statement, PDF], Judge Advocate General of the US Army [official website], expressed concern that US soldiers captured abroad could face the same standards. Thursday's testimony echoed that given by some of the same military lawyers at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing [JURIST report] in July on the implications of the Hamdan v. Rumsfeld ruling.

The lawyers said allowing suspected terrorists to see all evidence was a requirement of the Geneva Conventions [ICRC materials] and in line with the rights offered in other country's court systems. US Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) [official website], head of the House committee, alternatively argued that the disclosure of classified information could reveal intelligence sources to the public. President Bush Thursday urged Congress [speech transcript; Reuters report] to pass the military commissions legislation, saying that the sooner Congress acts the sooner detainees will be brought to justice. AP has more.



 

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