The judge in the Hamdan case, which opened Monday at Guantanamo Bay, has ruled that the prosecution cannot use certain statements taken from accused Osama bin Laden aide Salim Hamdan while he was held at Panshir and Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.
The judge, Navy Captain Keith Allred, found that the statements were provided while Hamdan was subjected to “highly coercive” conditions. He left open the possibility that the prosecution could use statements by Hamdan during detention at Gitmo. Prosecutors expressed confidence that the ruling would not impair their ability to try the case. Nonetheless, chief prosecutor Army Colonel Lawrence Morris said the government might appeal the ruling, citing the possibility that the ruling would influence the prosecution of future cases.
Judge Allred previously issued a ruling (reported in CAAFlog here) disqualifying the convening authority’s legal adviser, Air Force Brigadier General Thomas Hartmann, from participating in the Hamdan case based on allegations that General Hartmann improperly attempted to influence the proceedings. The Hamdan case was cleared to go forward following a ruling from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia released on Friday.