right to counsel

Afridi’s Trial: Similar to Gitmo Military Commissions? Bonus: Rohrabacher Goes Bold

Abbottabad district, red, is within Kyhber Pakhtunkhwa Province, green, which is next to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, blue, where the town of Bara is in Khyber Agency. (Wikimedia Commons)

Fallout continues from yesterday’s sentencing of Dr. Shakeel Afridi, the doctor who helped the CIA to identify Osama bin Laden prior to the US raid that killed him. Marcy commented yesterday on the poor outcome from Leon Panetta disclosing Afridi’s cooperation with the CIA and I noted how the sentencing may have been one motivation behind the potential political impetus for yesterday’s drone strike in Pakistan (which has been followed up by yet another drone strike today).

I will get to the obligatory statement of outrage from Dana Rohrabacher in a bit, but first there is a very interesting article in Dawn that has a few details from Afridi’s trial. Although Afridi’s cooperation with the CIA occurred in Abbottabad, which is in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (formerly referred to as North West Frontier Province), Afridi was tried in the town of Bara, which is in the Khyber Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The map on the left shows the FATA in blue, most of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in green and the Abbottabad district in red.

In the Dawn quotations below, “Khyber” refers to Kyber Agency within FATA and not Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as far as I can tell.

Dawn describes where the trial took place and the convictions that were handed down:

Officials said Afridi had been tried at the office of assistant political agent (APA) in Bara. He was sentenced on the charges of conspiring “to wage war against Pakistan or depriving it of its sovereignty”, “concealing existence of a plan to wage war against Pakistan” and “condemnation of the creation of the state and advocacy of abolition of its sovereignty”.

“The trial conducted under the Frontier Crimes Regulation continued for one year during which Dr Afridi was denied the right to engage a lawyer,” said Rahat Gul, an administrative official at the Khyber House.

Dawn then moved on to citing criticism about where the trial took place:

Critics have said he should not have been tried under tribal law for an alleged crime that took place outside tribal jurisdiction, in the town of Abbottabad where he ran a fake vaccination programme designed to collect bin Laden family DNA.

A senior official in Khyber, Nasir Khan, defended Afridi’s trial.

“We have powers to try a resident of FATA (the federally administered tribal areas) under the FCR enforced in tribal areas,” he told AFP.

Hmmm. Venue-shopping. That would never happen in the US, especially when the chosen venue is seriously lacking in due process.

And the trial had to be secret so that Afridi would not be attacked: Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @Will_Bunch But, still, leaking this on a Friday 5pm dump is pretty bogus.
4mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Will_Bunch Yep, thanks, just found it. I never expected anything out of DOJ-CRD because their jurisdiction is thin, and very tough sledding
5mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Frankly, people, including the clueless Ben Crump, who put their faith in DOJ civil rte prosecution were always nuts http://t.co/32b2IB6ZGi
6mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Will_Bunch Nevermind, found it.
8mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Will_Bunch Crap, do you have a link? Jeebus.
9mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Building young men into football players is just like building upscale office desks.
9mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Shades of Les Nesman and WKRP: "Blackhawk helicopter drops candy in Phoenix neighborhood last night" http://t.co/8dr19FzYzM via @azcentral
12mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @nickmanes1 Ah. We're a duplex. So 2-for-1 once you get up the steps.
13mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ralonzo A military Blackhawk?? I'm going to go with terrifying!
14mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @kevinjonheller Nightshade. Lots of people are allergic to other nightshades, right?
14mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @nickmanes1 You must have gotten tons of Treaters in the old joint. All wearing professionally made costumes?
15mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @kevinjonheller Lucky for me I have a quasi open air greenhouse--even strawberry plants aren't dead yet. Picked eggplant & some peppers too
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