Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ex-prosecutor calls Guantanamo tribunals tainted

"Political pressure and evidence obtained through the abuse of prisoners has undermined the Guantanamo 'war on terror' tribunals, their former chief prosecutor testified, US media reported.

"Colonel Morris Davis, who resigned last year as the Pentagon's chief prosecutor for terrorism cases, was called to testify Monday on behalf of Osama bin Laden's former driver at a military commission at the remote US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"Davis said senior officials in President George W. Bush's administration urged him to move high-profile trials along quickly for political reasons, The Washington Post reported.

"Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England and other Pentagon officials told him that charging well-known detainees before elections this year could have 'strategic political value,' Davis was quoted as saying by the Post.

"Davis also accused Brigadier General Thomas Hartmann, the legal adviser to the military official in charge of the tribunals, of tolerating evidence obtained from waterboarding, an interrogation method that simulates drowning and is widely condemned as a form of torture."

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