Saturday, May 31, 2008

GItmo Judge Axed For Speaking Out

Military judge dismissed:

A judge hearing a war crimes case at Guantanamo Bay who publicly expressed frustration with military prosecutors' refusal to give evidence to the defense has been dismissed, tribunal officials confirmed Friday.

Army Col. Peter Brownback III was presiding over the case of Canadian detainee Omar Khadr. Marine Col. Ralph Kohlmann, in his role as chief judge at Guantanamo, ordered the dismissal without explanation and announced Brownback's replacement in an e-mail this week to lawyers in Khadr's case.

In another indication of the Pentagon's drive to step up the pace at Guantanamo, charges were drafted against three more terrorism suspects, bringing to 17 the number accused of war crimes.


Brownback said during an April hearing that he had been "badgered and beaten and bruised by Maj. Groharing" to set a date but couldn't do so in good conscience when the prosecution was withholding evidence.

Brownback revealed in a November 2007 session that Pentagon officials had made clear they "didn't like" his decision the previous June to dismiss the Khadr case for lack of jurisdiction.

That ruling was overturned a few weeks later by a hastily assembled Court of Military Commission Review.

Asked about Brownback's removal, Air Force Capt. Andre Kok, a tribunal spokesman, said it was "a mutual decision between Col. Brownback and the Army that he revert to his retired status when his current active-duty orders expire in June."

We are ruled by a military junta, one that spits on the rule of law.


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