Judge Grants Mohammed Jawad's Habeas Petition, Orders Release

Bump and Update: The Judge in has granted Mohammed Jawad's habeas petition and ordered his release from Guantanamo and return to Afghanistan. The Obama Administration filed a proposed Writ of Habeas Corpus (pdf)last night agreeing to Mohammed Jawad's release in 22 days. The order the judge signed today is here. The ACLU's statement is here.

Does this mean they are giving up? It doesn't sound like it:

"We have informed the judge in this case that we will not contest the writ of habeas corpus and that we are not detaining Jawad in order to conduct a criminal investigation of his actions," Justice Department spokesman Matt Miller said in a statement last night. "Instead, we have informed the court that there are a number of steps the government must undertake to comply with Congressional reporting requirements before any transfer can take place. In the meantime, Department prosecutors are investigating whether they can make a criminal case against Jawad, an effort that is proceeding separate and apart from his habeas case. (my emphasis)

Today, the Judge advised the Government to think long and hard before charging Jawad. [More...]


Original Post 7/29

U.S. Will Either Release or Charge Jawad in Criminal Court

A habeas hearing will take place tomorrow in the case of Afghan child soldier Mohammed Jawad, who has been held at Guantanamo for almost 7 years. Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle berated the Government, calling its case "lousy" and "full of holes." The transcript of the hearing is here(pdf)

Both military and civilian judges have ruled Jawad's statements inadmissible because they were obtained through torture. Without the torture evidence, the Government has thus far been unable to come up with other evidence to make a case against him.

So, while the media reports the Obama Administration says it is prepared to release Jawad, that's not the whole story. Rather, the Administration is hoping to find more evidence against him in the next few weeks to bring charges against him in federal court. [More...]

Government attorneys, however, reserved the right to file new charges in federal court against Mohammed Jawad if they find evidence against him before he's freed. The Justice Department asked U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle to grant them 22 days to release Jawad -- seven days to notify Congress of the release plans, as current law requires, and then 15 days until a cooling-off period mandated by law expires.

More on that here. The ACLU says:

"If the government can ignore a federal court's findings that it has no case against Mr. Jawad or reason to continue to lawlessly detain him, it will render habeas corpus a dead-letter and our courts powerless to remedy injustice."

The Attorney General in Afghanistan sent a letter to the Court demanding Jawad's return and suggesting he was as young as 12 when he was seized. More on his case is available here.

The Government needs to bite the bullet on this one and send Jawad home. He's spent 1/3 of his life in our custody. It has no case.

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  • Display: Sort:
    as if that ever stopped (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 12:21:03 AM EST
    The Government needs to bite the bullet on this one and send Jawad home. He's spent 1/3 of his life in our custody. It has no case.

    a determined prosecutor (see: mike nifong) before.

    after seven years, they have nothing. statistically, the odds are low they're going to come up with something in another few weeks. less even than the odds congress will spew out a decent health care plan.

    yes, obama is (sort of) better than mcain, but not by much.

    nope. (none / 0) (#2)
    by cpinva on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 11:39:51 AM EST
    Does this mean they are giving up? It doesn't sound like it:

    don't expect mr. jawad to be released anytime soon. 22 days will turn into a month, which will turn into 6 months, then a year, as they seek to comply with congressional requirements, etc.

    if they diddle long enough, the guy might do the decent thing and die for them. problem solved.

    they'll then release his remains back to his family.

    Even assuming the wildest Bushian assumption (none / 0) (#3)
    by ruffian on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 01:17:58 PM EST
    that this guy, if released in Afghanistan, will join terrorists and start plotting against the US, he is just one more over there, and hardly a mastermind after spending his teenage years at Gitmo. If he chooses the terrorist route, he will suffer the same fate as the rest.

    Let him go.

    Creating terror (none / 0) (#4)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 02:16:26 PM EST
    If he does join a "terrorist" group we can take a fair share of the credit in showing him the way. I know if I were in his situation, I wouldn't be waving the red, white, and blue when I got home. I still wonder if our combined actions haven't created more of a problem that it cured.