One-Way Accountability

Report
July 18, 2012

One-Way Accountability

Guantanamo Detainee Pleads Guilty; Details of Government Crimes Against Him Remain Classified Top Secret

I’m making a leap of faith here, sir. That is all I can do.
-Majid Khan, Guantánamo Bay, February 29, 2012

At the US Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba on 29 February 2012, Pakistani national Majid Shoukat Khan pleaded guilty to a range of charges under the US Military Commissions Act, including murder and attempted murder “in violation of the law of war”, before US Army Colonel James Pohl in his role as a military commission judge.  Under the terms of a pre-trial plea agreement, Majid Khan is now convicted as charged and will be sentenced in February 2016 or earlier. In the interim, he is required under the agreement to cooperate “fully and truthfully” with the US government, including with military and civilian prosecutors, and law enforcement, military and intelligence authorities.
 
The factual allegations in relation to which Majid Khan admitted personal responsibility include conspiring with al-Qa’ida to assassinate a former President of Pakistan via a suicide bombing in 2002 and transferring funds for a group, al-Qa’ida, he knew to be engaged in terrorism, which were later used in the bombing of a hotel in Indonesia that occurred in August 2003 and in which 11 people were killed. Under the plea agreement, if he cooperates fully, he faces a prison sentence of up to 19 years, from the date of his guilty plea.  Once he has served any such sentence, the government reserves the right to return him to indefinite “law of war” detention. Majid Khan’s “leap of faith” is that he will be released after serving whatever term of imprisonment he is given in or before February 2016.