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Military commissions advisor too aggressive: Guantanamo official

[JURIST] US Army Gen. Gregory Zanetti [official profile], deputy commander at Guantanamo Bay, testified [Miami Herald report] Wednesday that military commissions [JURIST news archive] legal advisor Gen. Thomas Hartmann [official profile] routinely bullied his counterparts and was inappropriately aggressive in seeking indictments against detainees. Zanetti's testimony fit in with earlier allegations [JURIST report] that Hartmann worked too closely with commission prosecutors despite his purportedly neutral role. Col. Lawrence Morris, the chief prosecutor in the case, said the complaints against Hartmann were more a function of personality conflicts than of actual misconduct. The testimony came at a hearing in the case of detainee Mohammed Jawad [DOD materials; JURIST news archive], whose lawyers are seeking to have charges against him dismissed due to alleged misconduct by Hartmann. AFP has more.

In May, lawyers for detainee Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] unsuccessfully moved to have charges against their client dropped because of similar allegations [JURIST report] against Hartman.  Earlier that month, Hartman was disqualified [JURIST report] from participating in the military commission trial of detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan [DOD materials; JURIST news archive], but has refused to resign [JURIST report] from his post. In April, former Guantanamo prosecutor  Colonel Morris D. Davis [official profile, PDF] said Hartmann had questioned the need for open trials [JURIST report] at Guantanamo and was upset with the slow pace of the proceedings begun by Davis. Davis resigned [JURIST report; JURIST op-ed] from his position in October 2007, saying that politics were interfering with the prosecutions process.

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