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
JimWhiteGNV Walked through heavy smoke few minutes ago. https://t.co/rkAeXA41Cc
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bmaz Probably the best America really has to offer the world artistic community this summer is indeed San Andreas w/Dwayne "L-Olivier" Johnson.
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emptywheel @iwelsh That's one of the problems: BC banks can always get out of jail by narcing their clients,... @TheTweetOfGod @JC_Christian
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emptywheel @StevenTDennis (Except in secret court rulings to piggy back something else, presumably.)
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emptywheel @StevenTDennis Interesting, thanks. I don't THINK that's in any reporting. And yet again they confirm they've never "used" Lone Wolf.
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emptywheel @iwelsh Some of the money was laundered thru a bank in US. And their BSA charges are... ? @TheTweetOfGod @JC_Christian
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bmaz @dmataconis I feel for the client. Deeply.
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bmaz .@dmataconis @CNN If Ficker did that affirmatively as a retained atty, then he is even more of a quack than I thought.
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bmaz .Um, should read "some kind of propriety expert" @CNN
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bmaz So, holy mother of god @CNN has freaking quack ass Bullets heckler Robin Ficker on as some of propriety expert?? Are you fucking kidding me?
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