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National Briefing / GUANTANAMO BAY

Pentagon official barred at 2nd trial

August 15, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

A military judge barred a Pentagon official from taking part in a second war crimes trial, providing more ammunition for detainee lawyers who allege that political interference taints the proceedings.

A former chief prosecutor and defense lawyers have accused Air Force Brig Gen. Thomas W. Hartmann, the legal advisor to the tribunals, of demanding that certain cases be given priority based on political considerations.

The judge, Army Col. Steve Henley, ruled that Hartmann compromised his objectivity in public statements aligning himself with prosecutors and defending the Pentagon's system for prosecuting accused terrorists.

Hartmann was also barred from the first Guantanamo war crimes trial.

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