Blog of Rights

Former Gitmo Prosecutor: "No Detainee...Could Be Guaranteed a Fair Trial"

By Ateqah Khaki at 12:39pm

The Talking Dog recently interviewed Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld — who you might recall is the former military prosecutor in the military commissions case against our client, Mohammed Jawad. In September 2008, Vandeveld left the military commissions system because he did not believe he could ethically proceed with Jawad’s case. He supports our habeas challenge of Jawad’s illegal detention and prosecution under the unconstitutional military commissions system.

In the interview with Talking Dog, Vandeveld states:

My fundamental conclusion, after eighteen months with the Commissions, was that no lawyer could certify to the Commissions and to opposing counsel that the discovery requirements mandated by the Military Commissions Act and its implementing regulations had been met, so dismal was the condition and organization of the evidence. Hence, I concluded, none of the detainees, or at least those whose cases I examined and evaluated, could be guaranteed a fair trial — not a perfect trial, which is impossible to achieve in any case, but a trial that afforded the detainees with evident and ascertainable fairness and transparency. The ineluctable consequence of this assessment required me, I believe, as a lawyer, military officer, and a human being, to refuse to participate in the Commissions any longer.
You can check out the full interview, here.

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