Judge Grants Mohammed Jawad's Habeas Petition, Orders Release
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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