Thursday, August 07, 2008

US Kangaroo Court Sham In Cuba

Reports of a 'trial', a 'jury', a 'verdict' and a 'conviction', bandied about at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp show-trial, are highly misleading and make a mockery of justice. 

A US military commission, at the camp in Cuba, has 'convicted' Osama Bin Laden's former driver, Salim Hamdan, of supporting terrorism. The verdict is the first to be delivered in a 'war crimes trial' on the island.

Bin Laden's driver may be 'guilty' who really knows - but that's not the issue here. 

The prosecution had said Hamdan played a "vital role" in the conspiracy behind the 9/11 attacks. Defence lawyers said he was just a hired driver. Hamdan is due to be 'sentenced' today.

The pointless 'trial'' is being played up for all its worth by the US authorities. The White House said the trial was fair and looked forward to more tribunals, claiming it shows GITMO does actually work.

But the 'jury' was made up of US military personnel. The 'trial' was actually a kangaroo court under the guise of a military tribunal and the whole thing played out behind closed doors in a tiny corner of the island. 

The so-called 'reports' came from journalists watching carefully screened footage on CCTV, while holed up in an air-conditioned hotel round the block. 

Lawyers around the world say it's unfair. The whole case will be thrown out by the US Supreme Court on appeal, anyway. 

Guantanamo Bay is a mystery. A strange, eerie sort of place on the eastern tip of Cuba. Leased to the US back in the 1920s, it's surrounded by razor wire and surveillance cameras. 

Dozens of other inmates are due to be 'tried' there in the coming months. Some are bigger fish - men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks.

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