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Less than two months after the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the chief prosecutor of the alleged conspirator of 9/11 announced his sudden retirement on Thursday and tried the case. It seemed more and more unlikely.
Retirement of Army Brig. General Mark Martins was revealed in a message to a family of about 3,000 people killed in 9/11 after 10 years of work. Martins had previously repeatedly postponed his retirement and planned to remain in his position until 2023. No clear reason for his early retirement was given.
A message from Karen Loftus, director of the prosecution team’s Victim Witness Assistance Program and obtained by NPR, said Martins had resigned “in the best interests of the ongoing case.” Citing Martins’ long military career, he said that after a year or more of pauses for a pandemic, military court proceedings would soon resume in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, “this is the time to move to a new leader. “.
Martins, who graduated from Oxford University, Harvard Law School, and West Point Military Academy and was the first to graduate in class, is also a former Rhodes Scholarship student and has been in uniform for 42 years.
The sudden departure earlier than his plan is the latest in a long series of setbacks in efforts to bring the 9/11 case to justice, including frequent changes of judges. Judge of one military court I quit last year Two weeks after work.
Further complicating the proceedings is Marine Brig, the chief counsel for the 9/11 case. General John Baker will retire in November, the move he says is voluntary.
Even Baker was surprised by the news of Martins’ retirement.
“I must say it was like holy smoke,” Baker said in an interview with NPR. He added that Martins’ resignation “will delay prosecution efforts if nothing else is done.”
Colleen Kelly, whose brother died in the collapse of the World Trade Center, is also distracted by the news of Martins’ retirement and does not know how that will affect the September 11 attacker’s prosecution. Stated.
“I don’t know how to read tea leaves right now,” Kelly told NPR. “I think I was determined to take a new path within the administration … I hope someone is thinking about this from a 30,000-foot perspective.” This was too long. , You need to create another course. “
Approximately 20 years after his brother’s death, Kelly said the 9/11 trial is still elusive, and a new approach is needed to hold the attackers accountable and bring justice to the victims. She is thinking.
“I personally say that there is some kind of judicial transaction, as negotiating a plea in return for life imprisonment can be a cheaper and more efficient alternative than going to trial. I hope, “she added.
According to Loftus’ message, Martins’ successor is “likely to be nominated in the near future,” while Martins’ retirement will take effect on September 30, with Deputy Prosecutor Michael O’Sullivan acting as prosecutor. To take office.
As Chief Prosecutor of the Military Commission, Martins oversees the prosecution of all war crimes in Guantanamo, as well as the September 11 case against the five defendants.
However, the 9/11 case is the most prominent proceeding in military courts, and prosecutors struggle to bring it to trial, which has plagued years of pretrial hearings. .. The annoying nature of conducting an incident in Cuba is causing delays. Ongoing legal debate Whether the evidence obtained through torture can be used in court.
With the U.S. military withdrawing from Afghanistan and the Biden administration allowing several Guantanamo inmates to be transferred to other countries in recent months, some legal experts have said that these moves have been made. Final closure of Guantanamo..
Military courts and prisons cost U.S. taxpayers Over $ 6 billion Since 2002.
Guantanamo Prosecutor Mark Martins suddenly retires before the 9/11 trial begins: NPR
Source link Guantanamo Prosecutor Mark Martins suddenly retires before the 9/11 trial begins: NPR