Former Guantanamo prosecutor claims political interference in commission cases

[JURIST] Former US Guantanamo Bay chief military prosecutor Col. Morris Davis [official profile, PDF] said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal published Saturday that politics is interfering with Guantanamo prosecutions [WSJ report]. Davis said that recently-approved rules governing prosecutions at Guantanamo [JURIST news archive] result in the chief prosecutor reporting [PDF memo text] via the Legal Advisor to the Convening Authority to the Pentagon general counsel [PDF memo text], a presidential appointee. Davis said he filed an internal complaint about this structure, but the complaint was rejected. Shortly thereafter, he resigned [JURIST report] in protest.

Davis was the lead prosecutor in the military commission case against Australian Guantanamo detainee David Hicks [JURIST news archive], who made a plea bargain [JURIST report] in March. Davis claims the plea bargain was politically motivated to avoid domestic political embarrassment for Australian Prime Minister John Howard [official profile]. Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer [official profile] has denied [JURIST report] allegations that the Australian government was involved in negotiating the plea bargain.



 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.