It's good that the lawyers are being agressive, but odd indeed that they don't get to communicate with their clients…or even know if the clients are aware they have been charged. What kind of a system doesn't tell the defendant the charges against him? Only a very, very, very bad system, that's what.
Lawyers condemn 'unfair' terror trial rules (may require registration): US military officers assigned as defence lawyers to the first prisoners to be charged at Guantanamo Bay say the tribunal rules under which they will be tried are fundamentally unfair and hopelessly antiquated.
“We are concerned with virtually every aspect of the military commission process and the impact it will have on our clients' chances of getting a fair trial,” Navy Lt Cdr Philip Sundel said.
Army Major Mark Bridges said that he and Lt Sundel were planning to raise several motions related to the rules and procedures being followed at the Guantanamo Bay military tribunals, the first of their kind since the Second World War.
“The bottom line is it's an outdated system that was pulled off the shelf and dusted off. The law has advanced a lot since then, both internally and domestically. The standards that were applied then simply aren't acceptable today,” Major Bridges said.
The two lawyers will defend Ali Hamza Ahmed Sulayman al Bahul, of Yemen, who was charged along with Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoudf al Qosi, of Sudan, with conspiracy to commit war crimes.
Lt Sundel said neither he nor his colleague had been allowed to speak to al Bahul and they did not know whether he had even been told of the charge against him, announced earlier this week.
It's sorta like watching a race. Does the Adminstration exhibit a greater lack of decent respect for Justice, or for the opinions of mankind?
As I commented here, these military defense lawyers are showing amazing courage in their public statements. Even when defending US citizen-soldiers, military defense lawyers are usually prohibited from making public statements about cases under military regulations. If that’s true for defending citizens, then they are even taking a bigger risk by talking about the cases of non-citizens. And they’re not just talking about the case; they’re chastizing the whole system! Their actions are commendable, if for their courage alone, but they are also potentially career ending.