Ex-Guantanamo military prosecutor claims he was pressured for closed trials

[JURIST] The former chief military prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], Col. Morris D. Davis [official profile, PDF], told the New York Times Friday that he was pressured to use classified evidence against defendants in closed war crimes trials for detainees. In the interview, Davis said the push to use classified evidence stems from an internal military disagreement over whether the trials should be keep closed or open to the public. Davis said that Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Hartmann [official profile], legal advisor to the Convening Authority [official backgrounder] responsible for running the trials, questioned the need for open trials and was upset with the slow pace of the proceedings begun by Davis. Davis felt that by using classified evidence the details of the trials would remain closed; he said he believed the only way to ease criticism of the US military trial system at Guantanamo was by keeping the process as open as possible.

Davis, a career Air Force lawyer, resigned his post [JURIST report] on October 5, after complaining that Hartmann should not be supervising his work. Davis filed the formal complaint with the Pentagon back in August. When Pentagon officials said they supported Hartmann, Davis requested to be reassigned. The New York Times has more.

 

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