UN rights experts urge civilian trials for 9/11 suspects

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism Martin Scheinin [official website] on Tuesday urged the Obama administration to hold civilian trials for accused 9/11 conspirators, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [JURIST news archives]. Scheinin called [Reuters report] the military commissions [JURIST news archive] system "fatally flawed" and said that reforming the system would not help. Meanwhile, UN Special Rapporteur on torture Manfred Nowak [official profile, DOC] also argued that the suspects should face a civilian trial. A White House official said Monday that while a civilian trial for Mohammed may no longer be a realistic option, the Obama administration is working with lawmakers to allow for civilian trials [AP report] for other suspected terrorists.

On Sunday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] released a full-page advertisement [image] in the New York Times, imploring President Barack Obama to fulfill his pledge to try suspected 9/11 terrorists in federal courts [JURIST report]. It was reported on Friday that White House advisers are considering recommending [JURIST report] that Mohammed be tried in a military court rather than through the civilian criminal justice system. Attorney General Eric Holder announced in November that Mohammed would be tried in a civilian court [JURIST report] in Manhattan, drawing intense criticism. Last month, Holder defended his decision [JURIST report] to charge suspected terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab [JURIST news archive], the so-called Christmas Day bomber, in US federal court. Holder, who has resisted calls from high-level Republicans [AP Report] to try Abdulmutallab in front of a military tribunal, said that the civilian criminal justice system was capable of handling his trial.



 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.