Military commissions trials draw strong criticism

Loyola University Los Angeles law professor David Glazier told AFP that the decision to allow confessions made under duress by Canadian Omar Khadr “do nothing to help the credibly of the (military) commissions. “Decisions which err on the side of allowing disputed evidence into the trials will only serve to fuel that criticism and undermine public confidence in trial verdicts,” he added.

In the case against Osama bin Laden’s cook, Ibrahim al-Qosi, presiding military judge Nancy Paul announced Monday that the terms of a pre-trial plea deal with prosecutors would remain secret. “The secret pretrial agreement… is shocking. We are supposed to have open trials and open dockets, and the (US) administration has said it is committed to transparency. This is the polar opposite,” said Yale University military law professor Eugen Fidell.

In another court anomaly in the al-Qosi case, judge Paul was noticeably irritated when she discovered there were no written instructions on his conditions of imprisonment.

The plea agreement reportedly stipulates that Qosi can serve out his eventual sentence in Guantanamo’s Camp 4, where inmates live communally, but prison rules require convicted detainees to be isolated from other prisoners.


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