Charges Dropped In USS Cole Case Of ACLU John Adams Client At Guantánamo

February 6, 2009 12:00 am

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NEW YORK – Susan Crawford, the top Pentagon official overseeing the military commission system at Guantánamo, dropped all charges late Thursday in the case of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a suspect in the USS Cole bombing in 2000. The charges were withdrawn without prejudice, which means al-Nashiri can be charged again in a military commission or civilian court at a later date.

The American Civil Liberties Union has sponsored civilian counsel for al-Nashiri through its John Adams Project, a partnership with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to assist under-resourced military counsel in the Guantánamo military commissions.

The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU:

“The decision to withdraw charges in the al-Nashiri case is a heartening and critical next step in fulfilling President Obama’s commitment to halt the military commissions and turn the page on the Bush administration’s policies of indefinite detention, torture and sham trials. President Obama is making good on his promises so far. The same should be done in all the pending military commission cases, and no charges should be refiled in this illegitimate system. We have the best criminal justice system in the world; it’s time our government trusted it and ended the military commissions once and for all.”

The following can be attributed to Nancy Hollander, an attorney with the ACLU’s John Adams Project who represents al-Nashiri:

“Judge Crawford’s dismissal of the charges against Mr. al-Nashiri was the right thing to do. The United States government tortured Mr. al-Nashiri and then purposely destroyed the evidence of his torture; he should not be prosecuted in a system designed to accommodate that injustice. This is a positive step toward ending this Guantánamo farce and returning to the tried and true system of justice that makes us proud in this country. We are hopeful that change is finally on the way.”

Crawford’s withdrawal of charges is available online at:

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