Blog of Rights

Gitmo Legal Advisor Removed from Another Trial

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 3:44pm

The Miami Herald's Carol Rosenberg reports that Thomas Hartmann, the Legal Advisor to the Convening Authority in the Department of Defense Office of Military Commissions, was today banned from participating in the upcoming trial of Mohammed Jawad. This is the second time Hartmann's been banned from acting as the legal advisor in a military commissions trial: the first time was in the case of Salim Hamdan, whose trial just concluded last week.

Rosenberg writes:

Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann's aggressive advocacy of the trials by military commission — in the media and other public statements — ''compromised the objectivity necessary to dispassionately and fairly evaluate the evidence and prepare the post-trial evaluation,'' [Judge Stephen] Henley ruled.
Hartmann has been called out numerous times for his politically motivated meddling in the military commissions, most notably in Ross Tuttle's Nation article.

Jennifer Turner of the ACLU's Human Rights Program is in Guantánamo right now observing the pre-trial hearings of Jawad and Oman Khadr. She'll have more details on Henley's decision tomorrow.

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