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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.

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