Quantanamo Accused Are Guaranteed Terrorism Expert Witnesses Under Military Law
The Defense Department announced Monday that charges have been sworn against six detainees at Guantanamo, alleged to be responsible for the planning and execution of the attacks upon the United States of America which occurred on Sept. 11, 2001. Those attacks resulted in the death of nearly 3,000 people. The charges allege a long term, highly sophisticated, organized plan by al Qaeda to attack the United States. Under the Military Commissions Act the defendants are guaranteed the right to obtain evidence and to call witnesses on his own behalf including terrorism expert witnesses.
The accused are: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarek Bin ‘Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi, and Mohamed al Kahtani. Each of the defendants is charged with conspiracy and the separate, substantive offenses of: murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, destruction of property in violation of the law of war, terrorism and providing material support for terrorism. The first four defendants, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarek Bin ‘Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, and Ali Abdul Aziz Ali are also charged with the substantive offense of hijacking or hazarding a vessel.
In the military commissions process, every defendant has the following rights: The right to remain silent and to have no adverse inference drawn from it; the right to be represented by detailed military counsel, as well as civilian counsel of his own selection and at no expense to the government; the right to examine all evidence used against him by the prosecution; the right to obtain evidence and to call witnesses on his own behalf including expert witnesses; the right to cross-examine every witness called by the prosecution; the right to be present during the presentation of evidence; the right to have a military commission panel of at least five military members determine his guilt by a 2/3 majority, or in the case of a capital offense, a unanimous decision of a military commission composed of at least 12 members; and the right to an appeal to the Court of Military Commission Review, then through the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals to the United States Supreme Court.
These rights are guaranteed to the defendant under the Military Commissions Act, and are specifically designed to ensure that every defendant receives a fair trial, consistent with American and international standards of justice and the rule of law.
For more, see http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=11682.