The Guardian reports: The military lawyers prosecuting the self-proclaimed architect of the 9/11 attacks have struck back against accusations that they colluded with a military judge to destroy evidence relevant to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s defense.
In the latest sign that the US’s premier military commission at Guantánamo Bay is becoming what one observer likened to a “schoolyard brawl”, the prosecutors said Mohammed’s attorneys had cynically pursued a “scorched-earth litigation strategy” that involves “batter[ing] the reputation” of the army colonel presiding over the case.
In a 24 May military commissions filing recently unsealed to the public, the prosecution accuses Mohammed’s defense team of bad faith and shoddy lawyering and says the true goal of its counterparts was to destroy the credibility of the controversial military trial system.
Yet in the filing, the chief commissions prosecutor, Brigadier General Mark Martins, and his team elide the central charge in the controversy: the destruction of evidence in a death penalty case.
Last month, Mohammed’s attorneys leveled the extraordinary allegation that military judge and army colonel James Pohl had secretly issued an order permitting the government to destroy evidence that he had earlier publicly agreed to preserve. While extensive classification rules render central facts in the case difficult to conclusively determine, other rulings suggest the evidence in question concerns Mohammed’s torture by the CIA at secret prisons. [Continue reading…]