Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bali details to stay secret


POLITICAL interference in the US Military Commissions will prevent Australians from hearing all the facts surrounding the 2002 Bali bombings with the trial of terror-mastermind Hambali likely to take place in secret, the former chief prosecutor says.Colonel Mo Davis’s remarks came as new details emerged at the weekend about the role US Vice-President Dick Cheney played in the trial of David Hicks.
Colonel Davis said there was intense political pressure to try Hambali, along with other so-called high-value detainees, before George W. Bush left the White House in January 2009. He said the fear that a new administration, especially a Democrat one, would be less inclined to proceed with trials was driving the pressure. As a result, there would be no time to declassify the evidence against Hambali, meaning Australians would have to take the details of his alleged crimes on trust. “For you in Australia, where Hambali had a direct impact on your lives, you folks need to be able to see what he did and see that he’s been held accountable in a fair and open process,” Colonel Davis told The Australian. “I have serious doubts that that’s going to happen.”
The US allege Hambali was the link-man between al-Qa’ida and terror group Jemaah Islamiah, which was responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 88 Australians. Charges against Hambali are expected within months with prosecutors likely to seek the death penalty. Last week, US magazine Harper’s reported Mr Cheney and John Howard did a deal over the Hicks matter during the Vice-President’ s visit to Australia in late February, a claim denied by the Australian Government. However, on Saturday The Wall Street Journal reported that Mr Cheney’s chief-of-staff, David Addington, called the legal adviser to the Convening Authority, Brigadier General Thomas Hemingway – the man who brokered the plea agreement – after Mr Cheney’s return from Australia. Mr Addington reportedly asked what impact a recent Federal Court ruling would have on the Hicks case. Neither Mr Cheney or Mr Addington would comment on the report.
Brigadier General Hemingway told The Wall Street Journal while it was “naive” to think the commissions were devoid of politics, no one had exerted any improper influence on the Hicks deal. Mr Addington’s call followed Mr Cheney’s comments to reporters in Sydney that he was powerless to influence the commissions. “That would be a violation of the procedures,” Mr Cheney said at the time. By February, charges had been sworn against Hicks but not referred to trial. Colonel Davis said this was because the political pressure to deal with Hicks had been so intense charges were laid before the official responsible for approving them, Susan Crawford, had even been appointed Convening Authority. Colonel Davis told The Australian no other case he handled had been subject to as much political interference as the Hicks case. A spokesman for Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said the Government stood “100 per cent” by the assurances it issued at the time that the commissions were fit to try Australian citizens, despite Colonel Davis’s revelations

1 Comment

  1. BALI BOMB STAY SECRET 4EVER SECRET « my radical judgement by roysianipar said,

    […] READ MORE FULL STORY roysianipar @ 12:45 am [filed under Uncategorized tagged Bali, hindu, ISLAM, roysia […]

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