Accused USS Cole bomber boycotts pretrial hearing

Guantánamo Bay detainee Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri on Oct. 23 boycotted his pretrial hearing at the facility. Al-Nashiri is accused of bombing the USS Cole while it was in port in Yemen in October 2000. Al-Nashiri objected to the use of belly chains while he was brought from his cell to the courtroom for the proceedings. Navy officials have stated that while belly chains are used when moving certain detainees within the facility, they would not have been used on al-Nashiri before this week's hearing. The hearing was to determine if Yemen was at war with the US at the time of the bombing, a decision that will be used to determine al-Nashiri's status as an enemy combatant.

Conducting trials at Guantanamo Bay has stirred controversy recently, as alleged conspirators of both the 9-11 terrorist attacks and the USS Cole bombing are being tried. In September Military Judge James Pohl ruled that he did not have the authority to allow media to broadcast al-Nashiri's trial. In February Pohl ruled in al-Nashiri's case that attorney-client mail that was inspected at Guantánamo Bay can not be released by the Pentagon. Days before that ruling defense lawyers in the case of another Guantanamo detainee filed a suit challenging the order for officials to read all legal correspondence for suspected 9-11 conspirators.

From Jurist, Oct. 23. Used with permission.