From NIMJ’s observer Charlie Fowler, reporting on Tuesday’s schedule:
Not much to report from the al-Qosi courtroom. We thought court would start at 0930, showed
up at 0900, and waited for an hour, until one of the defense counsel was kind enough to pop into the back of the courtroom and tell us to get lunch. We got back after eating, waited an hour and a half, then were told that there wouldn’t be anything going on. We heard that the big issue of the day is that the Department of Defense has a problem with a military judge in Guantanamo telling them where they are going to put their convicted terrorists. Part of the plea deal accepted by al-Qosi is that he would be housed in a holding facility equivalent to the communal living of Camp Four. There seems to be an issue of whether DoD will honor that part of the deal. It is suspected that DoD feels like there is an obligation to segregate convicted detainees. They also may not want this to set a precedent for future pre-trial agreements.
We don’t know what to expect Wednesday. I think the confusion and problem surrounding this issue is another example that highlights the difference between courts-martial and federal trials, and what happens when the government tries to create a hybrid of both, with zero precedent. Something as routine as a plea deal becomes a precedent-setting commission-SNAFU.