Tuesday, January 12, 2010
The New York Times article is here:
A federal judge in Manhattan was asked on Monday to dismiss an indictment against a terror suspect whose lawyer argued that his nearly five-year detention in secret C.I.A. prisons and later at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, was “perhaps the most egregious violation in the history of speedy-trial jurisprudence.”
The judge, Lewis A. Kaplan of United States District Court, listened as a lawyer for the suspect, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, indicated that he was not challenging the government’s authority to decide to detain his client or the wisdom of that decision. The government held Mr. Ghailani to try to obtain intelligence about Al Qaeda.
But the government “cannot have it both ways,” said the lawyer, Peter E. Quijano.
Once these decisions are made, he added, “they can’t just simply change their mind, their political mind, 57 months later, and say, ‘You know, that indictment before Judge Kaplan? Let’s try it now.’ ”
The judge did not say when he would rule. The debate over the significance of the delays in bringing Mr. Ghailani to trial arises in a case that is seen as crucial because it could foreshadow a key issue in the prosecution of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the professed organizer of the 9/11 attack, and four other Guantánamo detainees accused in the plot who were recently ordered to New York for trial.