Politics|Chief Guantánamo Prosecutor Retiring Before Sept. 11 Trial Begins
Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins had held the occupation longest, and was for galore years the nationalist look of subject commissions.
July 9, 2021, 12:34 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON — The Army wide who has led warfare crimes prosecutions astatine Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, for a decennary is retiring and handing disconnected the proceedings of the 5 men accused of conspiring successful the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 to an as-yet unchosen successor.
Brig. Gen. Mark S. Martins of the Army served arsenic main authoritative for subject commissions passim the Obama and Trump administrations.
His determination to discontinue came arsenic a astonishment due to the fact that helium had obtained an hold to service successful the station until Jan. 1, 2023. Instead, helium volition discontinue connected Sept. 30, according to a announcement sent by Karen V. Loftus, a prosecution unit member, to families of the 3,000 radical killed successful the Sept. 11 attacks.
Defense officials said a committee was apt to beryllium assembled to prime a caller main prosecutor, who volition beryllium of the fertile of Army colonel oregon Navy skipper alternatively than the fertile of a one-star general.
General Martins, a Harvard Law School-educated West Point graduate, had for galore years been the nationalist look of subject commissions. In his archetypal years successful the position, helium undertook a speaking run to beforehand the hybrid signifier of justness that the Bush medication established aft the penetration of Afghanistan.
The Obama medication made immoderate changes to the strategy and pursued the Sept. 11 case against Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and 4 accused accomplices astatine Guantánamo, alternatively than successful national court. Their lawsuit has been mired successful pretrial proceedings since arraignment successful May 2011.
Although the lawsuit presently has nary subject justice assigned to perceive it, Pentagon officials are preparing for its archetypal hearings since February 2020 to instrumentality spot successful the archetypal 2 weeks of September, coinciding with the 20th day of the attacks.
Ms. Loftus said General Martins chose to discontinue “in the champion interests of the ongoing cases.” Military Commissions hearings are scheduled to resume adjacent week for the archetypal clip since the opening of the pandemic, successful a lawsuit accusing an Iraqi antheral of commanding forces that committed warfare crimes successful Afghanistan successful 2002 and 2003.
Ms. Loftus called the timing “an perfect model to place a successor” due to the fact that proceedings are “finally successful presumption again for each of our cases pursuing the pandemic-driven hiatus.”