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Guantanamo Bay ex-prosecutor to testify for Hamdan defense

[JURIST] Former Guantanamo Bay chief military prosecutor Col. Morris Davis [official profile, PDF] told AP Thursday that he has agreed to appear as a defense witness in the military commission trial of Guantanamo detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan [DOD materials; JURIST news archive]. In October 2007, Davis resigned [JURIST report; JURIST op-ed] from his position at Guantanamo Bay, saying that politics were interfering with the prosecutions process. In a Wednesday interview [text] with The Nation, Morris alleged that Pentagon general counsel William Haynes [official profile] told him that none of the detainees could be acquitted, implying that the tribunal process may be rigged. Hamdan's lawyers plan to argue at a preliminary hearing in April that this alleged political interference violates the rules governing war crimes trials established by the 2006 Military Commissions Act [PDF text]. AP has more. UPI has additional coverage.

In October 2007, Davis told the New York Times that he was pressured to use classified evidence [JURIST report] against defendants in closed war crimes trials for detainees. Also in October, Davis said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that Guantanamo prosecutions were becoming politicized [WSJ report; JURIST report]. Davis said that recently approved rules governing prosecutions at Guantanamo Bay [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.

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