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Former Guantanamo prosecutor says DOD punished him for Hamdan testimony

[JURIST] The former chief prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay alleges that the US Department of Defense (DOD) [official website] retaliated against him for giving testimony [JURIST report] at the pre-trial hearing of detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] which reflected poorly on the DOD. In an email released Wednesday, Air Force Col. Morris Davis [official profile, PDF] wrote that Pentagon officials denied him a medal for his two years of work on Guantanamo cases for failure to "serve honorably", a justification he says is politically motivated. He also said that he will not cooperate in any future cases and that he fears further punishment by the DOD before his official retirement later this year. The Washington Post has more.

Davis resigned [JURIST report; JURIST op-ed] from his position at Guantanamo Bay in October 2007, saying that politics were interfering with the prosecutions. He testified at Hamdan's pre-trial hearing that DOD officials had pressured him to bring charges against detainees and had told him that there could be no acquittals. Davis also stated that the legal adviser to the Convening Authority [official backgrounder] for Military Commissions at Guantanamo Bay, US Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Hartmann [official profile], questioned the need for open trials [JURIST report] and pressured him to move forward with military commissions quickly "before the election." A judge disqualified Hartmann from a Guantanamo trial earlier this month, and Hartmann's objectivity has since been questioned [JURIST reports].

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About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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