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Resigned Gitmo Prosecutor: Commission System is "Slipshod"

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October 2, 2008

You’ll recall that last week, Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld resigned from his position as lead prosecutor in U.S. v. Jawad, the case against Guantanamo detainee Mohammed Jawad. Jawad was a teenager when he was captured; he’s charged (PDF) with attempted murder and attempt to cause serious bodily injury. On Tuesday, ProPublica’s Eric Umansky got his hands on a copy of Vandeveld’s declaration (PDF).

Vandeveld writes:

My ethical qualms about continuing to serve as a prosecutor relate primarily to the procedures for affording defense counsel discovery. I am highly concerned, to the point that I believe I can no longer serve as a prosecutor at the Commissions, about the slipshod, uncertain “procedure” for affording defense counsel discovery. One would have thought that after six years since the Commissions had their fitful start, that a functioning law office would have been set up and procedures and policies not only put into effect, but refined.

Indeed. Umansky noted yesterday that Vandeveld is the sixth government prosecutor to resign his post. For more details on how Vandeveld’s resignation played out, and the concerns he raised, check out Hina Shamsi’s account of the Jawad hearings at Guantanamo last week, including Vandeveld’s testimony about his resignation.

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