The Guantánamo military judge handling the case of the alleged USS Cole bomber has ordered three civilian defense attorneys who resigned from the case over alleged breaches of attorney-client privilege to testify from Virginia by video feed to the Guantánamo courtroom Friday morning in a contempt hearing. The hearing will follow Monday’s contempt charge of lead defense counsel, Brigadier General John Baker, who is confined to his quarters at Guantánamo, as well as a decision by the Defense Department’s top prosecutor to end regular media availability on commission matters.
Amnesty International USA’s Security with Human Rights Director, Daphne Eviatar, issued the following statement ahead of tomorrow’s hearing:
“This week is further evidence that the military commissions are what we always predicted – a human rights calamity and costly sideshow. It’s time to give up the illusion that either true justice or any semblance of a fair trial will result from these never-ending proceedings.
There is no way anyone could view this kangaroo court as legitimate and even President Trump has acknowledged this system is ineffective and time-consuming. The president should shut down the military commissions and move these cases to federal court as soon as possible. The prison at Guantánamo should also be shuttered and there must be accountability for the torture and other human rights violations that the detainees have suffered.”