New judge assigned to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed military commission trial

[JURIST] The US military has assigned Army judge Col. Stephen Henley [DOD biography, PDF] to preside over the the war crimes trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], the self proclaimed architect of the 9/11 attacks [JURIST report], according to a Miami Herald report [text]. Henley replaces Marine Col. Ralph Kohlmann [JURIST news archive] whose announced retirement [JURIST report] from the post of chief judge of the US military commissions [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] was effective on Monday of this past week. Kohlmann had initially announced his retirement [JURIST report] in September, but said then that it would not be effective until April 2009. Henley's first hearing is scheduled for Dec 8.

Henley was first assigned as a military judge in 1998. In August, he ordered that military commissions [JURIST news archive] legal advisor Gen. Thomas Hartmann [official profile] not be allowed to participate in the Guantanamo trial of Afghan detainee Mohammed Jawad [DOD materials; JURIST news archive]. Henley held that Hartmann had made public statements suggesting he was overly favorable to prosecutors [JURIST report] despite the purported neutrality of his role. In October, Henley ruled that a confession given by Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Mohammed Jawad [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] was obtained using torture and was inadmissible at his military commission trial. Henley found that Afghan officials threatened to kill Jawad and his family unless he admitted to throwing a grenade that injured three US soldiers in Kabul in 2002. He ruled that obtaining a confession using threat of death amounted to torture, and that under Guantanamo trial rules his confession is therefore inadmissible.

 

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.