UK, US square off on 9/11 military trials

February 13th, 2008 - 1:32 pm ICT by admin  

London, Feb.13 (ANI): British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has said that his country is concerned about the Bush Administration’s plan to try terrorist suspects before military tribunals.
Milliband questioned whether Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others accused of planning the September 11 attacks would get a fair trial, even as prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty for Mohammed, a Pakistani al-Qa’eda operative arrested in Karachi in 2003, and five alleged conspirators accused of assisting in the murder of almost 3,000 people in the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon.
Mohammed and the other defendants have been held at the Guantanamo Bay base in Cuba, outside the jurisdiction of US courts.
Interviewed on Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine programme, Miliband said Mohammed’s basic legal rights need to be respected.
“He needs to be tried properly with a full defence and other legal rights,” he said.
Asked if the tribunal would respect those rights, he replied: “We have some concerns about that.”
The military tribunal was created by the Military Commissions Act, passed by the US Congress in 2006 to try terror suspects who were not US citizens.
“There’s absolutely no question about the UK government’s commitments in respect of torture, which is illegal, and our definition of what torture is.”
Human rights groups have also shared Milliband’s concerns about the tribunal.
Later, in a speech in Oxford, Miliband argued that Western nations must be willing to launch military interventions to promote democracy and prop up elected governments in developing countries. (ANI)

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