Former Guantanamo prosecutor turns critical

Other News Materials 29 April 2008 22:20 (UTC +04:00)

The Pentagon's former top prosecutor of detainees in the war on terrorism has criticized the military judicial process set up at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for being vulnerable to political influence, the dpa reported.

Air Force General Morris Davis testified during the case of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, an alleged Osama bin Laden driver whose trial next month will be the first held under the military commissions at Guantanamo.

Davis, testifying on Hamdan's behalf Monday, said he was pressured by Pentagon officials to make decisions he felt were inappropriate, the Washington Post reported.

Davis told the tribunal that senior Pentagon officials, including Deputy Defence Secretary Gordon England, made it clear that charging high-profile detainees before this year's election would be of "strategic political value."

Pentagon officials want to ensure that there are no acquittals because they would be difficult to explain publicly because so many of the detainees have been held without legal recourse for years, Davis said.

Davis also criticized the process because prosecutors are willing to present evidence that could have been obtained through harsh interrogation methods, including water-boarding, a technique that simulates drowning.