Military judge orders overseer of Gitmo cases replaced

AP News
Posted: Mar 02, 2015 1:38 PM

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — A military judge is ordering the Pentagon to replace the overseer of war crimes tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Air Force Col. Vance Spath made the ruling Monday. He found that the current convening authority, retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Vaughn Ary, exerted unlawful influence by requiring Guantanamo judges to move to the U.S. naval base and focus exclusively on those cases.

The requirement was meant to accelerate the Guantanamo cases. But Spath declared it illegal and said it would make people wonder if judicial decisions were made in the interest of speed, not justice.

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The Defense Department approved the requirement in January and rescinded it last week after defense attorneys objected.

Spath presides over the case of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the prisoner charged in the USS Cole bombing in 2000.