Ex-prosecutor: Gitmo trials may be rigged

Feb. 20, 2008 at 4:34 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The former chief U.S. prosecutor for the Guantanamo military commissions suggests in a published report that upcoming detainee trials may be rigged.

The Pentagon announced Feb. 11 it was charging six Guantanamo detainees -- including alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- with war crimes, and was seeking the death penalty in all the cases.

In an interview in TheNation.com Wednesday, the former prosecutor, retired Col. Morris Davis, said Pentagon General Counsel William Haynes told him there could not be any acquittals.

Haynes oversees the prosecution and defense at the upcoming trials, The Nation said. Davis resigned from the U.S. Air Force last year, claiming the Pentagon was meddling in the commission process and alleging a conflict of interest in Haynes' role.

Davis told The Nation he met with Haynes in 2005: "I said to him that if we come up short and there are some acquittals in our cases, it will at least validate the process. At which point, (Haynes') eyes got wide and he said, 'Wait a minute, we can't have acquittals. If we've been holding these guys for so long, how can we explain letting them get off? We can't have acquittals, we've got to have convictions.'"

Three prosecutors, Maj. Robert Preston, Capt. John Carr and Capt. Carrie Wolf, asked to be transferred from the Office of Military Commissions in 2004, saying they had been told the process was rigged, Davis said.

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