Charges Dropped In USS Cole Case Of ACLU John Adams Client At Guantánamo
NEW YORK - Susan Crawford, the top Pentagon official overseeing the military
commission system at Guantánamo, dropped all charges late Thursday in
the case of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a suspect in the USS Cole bombing
in 2000. The charges were withdrawn without prejudice, which means
al-Nashiri can be charged again in a military commission or civilian
court at a later date.
The American Civil Liberties Union
has sponsored civilian counsel for al-Nashiri through its John Adams
Project, a partnership with the National Association of Criminal
Defense Lawyers to assist under-resourced military counsel in the
Guantánamo military commissions.
The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU:
"The decision to withdraw charges in
the al-Nashiri case is a heartening and critical next step in
fulfilling President Obama's commitment to halt the military
commissions and turn the page on the Bush administration's policies of
indefinite detention, torture and sham trials. President Obama is
making good on his promises so far. The same should be done in all the
pending military commission cases, and no charges should be refiled in
this illegitimate system. We have the best criminal justice system in
the world; it's time our government trusted it and ended the military
commissions once and for all."
The following can be attributed to Nancy Hollander, an attorney with the ACLU's John Adams Project who represents al-Nashiri:
"Judge Crawford's dismissal of the
charges against Mr. al-Nashiri was the right thing to do. The United
States government tortured Mr. al-Nashiri and then purposely destroyed
the evidence of his torture; he should not be prosecuted in a system
designed to accommodate that injustice. This is a positive step toward
ending this Guantánamo farce and returning to the tried and true system
of justice that makes us proud in this country. We are hopeful that
change is finally on the way."
Crawford's withdrawal of charges is available online at: www.aclu.org/safefree/
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.