Former Guantanamo tribunals advisor target of military ethics probe

[JURIST] The US Air Force [official website] is conducting an ethics investigation of Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann [official profile; JURIST news archive] over allegations that he abused his power and inappropriately influenced the prosecution of enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], military officials said Saturday. Hartmann was the legal advisor to the US military commissions [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] at Guantanamo and supervisor of the Office of Military Commissions-Prosecution (OMC-P) until he was reassigned [JURIST report] to the position of director of operations of the Office of Military Commissions last month. It has been alleged that Hartmann forced officials at Guantanamo to bring prosecution cases before they were ready, prosecuted an individual on charges that were unwarranted, and that he tried to get prosecutors to use coerced evidence notwithstanding their objections. The Air Force is also investigating complaints by two military officials that Hartmann exhibited abusive and retaliatory behavior towards them within the Office of Military Commissions. The Los Angeles Times has more. AP has additional coverage.

Earlier this year military judges presiding over the trials of Guantanamo detainees Omar Khadr, Mohammed Jawad and Salim Ahmed Hamdan [JURIST reports] barred Hartmann from taking any part in the trials of those detainees on grounds that he was unduly biased towards the prosecution. US Army Gen. Gregory Zanetti [official profile], deputy commander at Guantanamo Bay, testified in August [JURIST report] that Hartmann routinely bullied his counterparts and was inappropriately aggressive in seeking indictments against detainees. In October, newly resigned Guantanamo chief military prosecutor Col. Morris Davis said during his tenure Hartmann questioned the need for open trials [JURIST report] and was upset with the slow pace of the proceedings begun by Davis.



 

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