Legal advisor staying after Guantanamo trial disqualification

Legal advisor staying after Guantanamo trial disqualification

[JURIST] US Air Force Reserve Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann [official profile], a top Pentagon legal advisor on the Guantanamo military commission trials, said Wednesday that he will not resign [AP report] despite questions concerning his objectivity. Hartmann serves as legal advisor to Susan J. Crawford, the Convening Authority [backgrounder] for the military commissions, but last week was disqualified from participating [JURIST report] in the trial of detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] amidst concerns he was too closely associated with the prosecution.

Earlier this year former Guantanamo prosecutor Air Force Col. 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. Last month, Davis testified at Hamdan's pre-trial hearing that Hartmann had pressured him to move forward with military commissions quickly out of political considerations [JURIST report].