Guantánamo trials ‘violate justice’

guantanamo7The military tribunals of suspected terrorists held at Guantánamo Bay were a “tremendous failure”, a US military lawyer told Congress yesterday.

Navy Lieutenant Commander Charles Swift was testifying before the first full Senate hearing on the Bush administration’s treatment of detainees since the “war on terror” began.

His comments come amid calls from Democrats and some Republicans that the Guantánamo Bay prison camp be closed down.

Lt Cdr Swift was assigned to represent Salim Ahmed Hamdan, Osama bin Laden’s driver, whom he said had been left mentally disturbed after being held in solitary confinement for seven months. Lt Cdr Swift said that Mr Hamdan was offered the opportunity to see a defence lawyer only if he pleaded guilty to the charges made against him.

Guardian, 16 June 2005