Lawyers for a suspect in the USS Cole bombing being held at Guantanamo Bay filed a motion Tuesday with the military commission overseeing detainee cases seeking to subpoena the president of Yemen for questioning. Lawyers for alleged al Qaeda senior leader Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri filed the motions seeking to question Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh while he is in the US receiving medical treatment. They argue that because Saleh will be in the jurisdiction of the US he can lawfully be subpoenaed. Nashiri's lawyers argue that Saleh, who was president of Yemen when the USS Cole attack occurred, may have information pertinent to their case. They also filed a motion for expedited ruling on the issue so the court should announce a decision on the motion soon.
In November Nashiri made his first court appearance, his first public appearance since he was captured in Dubai in 2002. Nashiri is charged with war crimes under the Military Commission Act of 2009 relating to the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000 which killed 17 men, the bombing of the MV Limburg in 2002 and a failed plot to attack an American warship, The Sullivans, in 2000. In May of last year, lawyers for Nashiri filed suit against Poland over his supposed torture in a secret CIA prison in the country. In 2007, Nashiri declared that his confession to orchestrating the USS Cole bombing was elicited under torture. Nashiri, along with fellow militant Jamal al-Badawi, was sentenced to death by a Yemeni court in 2004 for his role in the attack on the Cole.