Friday, November 20, 2009

Pentagon Announces Military Commissions Actions

FILE PHOTO - Commissions building courtroom at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Christopher Mobley.)

News in Balance:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2009 -- The following news release made available Friday by the U.S. Department of Defense is the text of a statement announcing military commissions actions:
Today, prosecutors in the Office of Military Commissions announced they intend to ask the convening authority to refer new charges under the recently-enacted Military Commissions Act of 2009 against Abd al-Rahim Hussein Muhammed Abdu al-Nashiri, in connection with the bombing of the USS Cole in the port of Aden, Yemen, in October 2000. The bombing resulted in the deaths of 17 sailors and injuries to many more.

This announcement follows the attorney general's determination on Nov. 13, 2009, that a military commission was the proper forum for prosecution of al-Nashiri.

The prosecutors are reviewing this and other cases identified by the attorney general as appropriate for trial in a military commission and anticipate making further announcements soon.

As part of the process of moving forward with the prosecution of al-Nashiri, on Nov. 19, 2009, in response to a request from the prosecutors, the convening authority dismissed without prejudice the pending charges against al-Nashiri. This dismissal without prejudice is a procedural action permitting new charges to be referred at a later time.

A charge is merely an accusation; an accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
(Report from a U.S. Defense Department news release.)

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