The military commission for Majid Shoukat Khan, who pleaded guilty to charges related to his role as a low-level al-Qaeda operative in 2012, reconvened on April 1, after a hiatus since July 2018.
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Last Week at the Military Commissions: Defense Teams Assert Conflict in Session Cut Short by Medical Emergency
On Jan. 28 and 29, the military commission in United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, et al. (the 9/11 military commission) reconvened for pretrial proceedings, picking up from its November sitting. The session was scheduled to last for a week but was cut short on Tuesday due to a medical emergency on the part of the military judge, Col. Keith Parrella.
The military commission trying alleged al-Qaeda commander Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi reconvened from Jan. 7-14, after a break in proceedings beginning in November 2018. The bulk of the session focused on Hadi’s medical status and accommodations being made to enable his participation in proceedings, and the commission heard testimony from Hadi’s neurosurgeon, the camp senior medical officer (SMO), and the commander of the Joint Detention Group (JDG).
On Tuesday, 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed petitioned the D.C. Circuit for a writ of mandamus, asking that his trial by military commission be halted until the Court of Military Commissions Review appoints a panel to address contested issues in his case. The full document is below.
On Friday, the judge United States v. Khalid Shaikh Mohammad et al. (i.e., the 9/11 military commission), Col. Keith Parrella, rejected a defense motion to dismiss the case on the grounds of unlawful influence on the part of former defense secretary James Mattis and former Defense Department Acting General Counsel William Castle.
The military commission trying alleged al-Qaeda commander Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi reconvened on Nov. 6, after Hadi’s poor medical condition impeded the previous session in September. The Nov. 6 session ended after only thirty minutes, due to Hadi suffering back spasms and needing treatment.
Last week, the military commission in United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed et al. reconvened for pretrial proceedings, meeting in open session on Sept. 10, 11, and 12. The commission covered Col. Keith Parrella’s replacement of Col. James Pohl as the presiding military judge, began discovery motions, and interviewed witness Lieutenant Doug Newman.
Parrella’s Transition into the Role
Note: The author is a member of Abu Zubaydah’s legal team. Joseph Margulies, Mark Denbeaux and Helen Duffy, who also represent Abu Zubaydah, have contributed to this article.
Quiet since September 2016, the military commission for Majid Shoukat Khan, a low-level al-Qaeda operative who pled guilty to all charges filed against him in 2012 and is cooperating with the government, reconvened for a brief afternoon session on July 17.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s judicial record on the Guantanamo military commissions is richer and less one-sided than some analysts, including Steve Vladeck in the Washington Post, have suggested.