Detainee & Lawyer Refuse to Participate in Guantanamo Trial
The Bush administration is gamely proceeding with another military tribunal hearing for a Guantanamo detainee. The first trial resulted in an acquittal of the most serious charge and a sentence that amounted to "we're sorry, you can go home now." Unafraid of a second colossal embarrassment, the administration is bringing a second detainee to trial. This one should be an easier win since the defense isn't participating.
Ali Hamza al-Bahlul does not want to be represented by an American military officer. He wants to represent himself. The judge rejected that request and rejected his lawyer's motion to withdraw. The trial was moving forward. Bahlul announced his intent to boycott the proceedings. The judge said Bahlul's interests would be represented by his counsel even if Bahlul chose not to participate. And then Bahlul's lawyer made a gutsy move:
"I will be joining Mr. Al Bahlul's boycott, sitting silently at the table," said Maj. Frakt, who then refused to respond to several questions from the judge.
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