Gitmo Prosecutor Quits Over Lack of Due Process

A prosecutor in the trial against a prisoner who is on trial for war-crimes, has quit the case because of concern over the defendant’s lack of due process, defense attorneys claim.

Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld filed a four page declaration stating that “potentially exculpatory evidence has not been provided” to the defense.

The prisoner, Mohammed Jawad, has been awaiting trial since his arrest in 2002 for attempting to commit murder for allegedly throwing a grenade into a jeep filled with troops. A judge recently set his trial for December.

From the Los Angeles Times:

“He was uncomfortable being a prosecutor under the conditions, and [his superiors] told him to do his job,” [Michael] Berrigan [deputy chief defense counsel for the commissions] said, adding that Vandeveld then took his concerns to higher authorities but was rebuffed.

Both defense lawyers said Vandeveld had spelled out his allegations in the sealed affidavit. Vandeveld said in his declaration that prosecutors knew Jawad may have been drugged before the attack and that the Afghan Interior Ministry said two other men had confessed to the same crime.

The lead prosecutor has denied that “ethical qualms” with the trial were behind Vandeveld’s motives, describing him as a “disgruntled” prosecutor “who was disappointed that his superiors did not agree with his recommendations in the case.”