A Collaboration with University of Pittsburgh   

Military commissions overseer orders charges dropped in last Guantanamo trial

[JURIST] Convening authority of military commissions Susan Crawford [official profile, PDF; JURIST news archive] announced Thursday that the Pentagon has formally dropped charges [text, PDF] against suspected USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahimal al-Nashiri [DOD materials; JURIST news archive]. Crawford's order ends the last active military commission trial, complying with President Barack Obama's executive order [text; JURIST report] mandating a reprieve of the prosecution of all cases at the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST archive] military prison. The announcement that the charges against al-Nashiri would be dropped ended a conflict between the Obama administration and several US military personnel, created last week when Army Col. James Pohl rejected [order and defense response, PDF; JURIST report] the request of government prosecutors to delay the proceedings against al-Nashiri. Earlier on Thursday, Pohl announced that he would rule [order, PDF] on Monday regarding a motion concerning measures to limit al-Nashiri's ability to see and hear at his military tribunal, despite Obama's executive order. Crawford's decision to drop charges effectively supersedes the necessity for Pohl to make such a ruling.

Al-Nashiri was accused of terrorism, attempted murder, and providing material support to terrorism for his alleged role in planning the 2000 al Qaeda attack [DOD report] on the USS Cole [official website; JURIST news archive]. He was charged in June [JURIST report] under the Military Commissions Act of 2006 [text, PDF; JURIST news archive]. He would have faced the death penalty if found guilty at his military commission hearing.

Support JURIST

We rely on our readers to keep JURIST running

 Donate now!

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.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.