Defense lawyers for the alleged mastermind of the USS Cole bombing Abd al-Rahim Nashiri [NYT profile; JURIST news archive] requested on Thursday that Nashiri's trial at Guantanamo [JURIST backgrounder] be televised. Richard Kammen, an attorney for Nashiri, declared that televising the trial would increase transparency [AFP report] of the tribunals at Guantanamo and enable the public to see an event of worldwide interest. However, prosecutor Justin Sher argued [CSM report] that the right to a public trial does not include the right to a televised trial. Sher further contended that if the trial were televised, some witnesses would be hesitant to testify. Col. James Pohl, the chief military judge at Guantanamo, is expected to decide whether to allow the trial to be televised by the end of October. Nashiri is charged with orchestrating the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen that killed 17 sailors. If convicted, he could face the death penalty. No trial date has been set.
Nashiri has been at the center of controversy for many years. In June, Nashiri's lawyers requested [JURIST report] that his trial be broadcast worldwide. In November, Nashiri made his first court appearance [JURIST report] for war crimes relating to the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000. In May 2011, Nashiri's lawyers filed suit against Poland [JURIST report] over his alleged torture in that country. In September 2010, a human rights group, Open Society Justice Initiative [advocacy website], filed a request [JURIST report] with Polish prosecutors for an investigation into the detention and torture of Nashiri in a secret CIA prison.