Archive | March 23, 2012

Bales to be answerable with 17 counts of murder

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will be answerable with 17 counts of annihilation and six counts of advance and attempted annihilation accompanying to a March 11 cutting bacchanalia in Afghanistan, a chief U.S. official said Thursday.

The accuse are accepted to be appear Friday. The official could not explain why the calculation is now 17,when 16 accept been appear dead in the incident.

Bales was aureate out of Afghanistan endure anniversary and is getting captivated at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Afghans are insisting that the doubtable be alternate to Afghanistan to face trial, even as villagers and assembly catechism the U.S. military’s annual of what happened. But an official said in Afghanistan on Sunday that Bales will be approved in the United States.

The binge has artificial already-tense U.S.-Afghan relations and agitated a agitation about whether to cull American troops advanced of their planned 2014 withdrawal. Afghan President Hamid Karzai accepted that troops abjure from villages and acknowledgment to their bases. He said relations amid the two countries were “at the end of their rope.”

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Prosecution faces above hurdles in annihilation case

The 16 Afghans asleep in a cutting bacchanalia in aboriginal March were active afterwards autopsies, in accordance with the Islamic attitude of a quick burial. Any accomplishment to do disclose the bodies and do an dissection would apparently be resisted by the Afghan villagers.

But that could present one of abounding challenges aggressive prosecutors will accept in authoritative a case adjoin the declared shooter, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales.

Last week, afterwards affair with Afghan Admiral Karzai, Secretary of Aegis Leon Panetta said that the “Afghanistan humans would see that the United States is absolutely traveling to not alone arraign this alone but ensure that he’s captivated accountable.”

But authoritative adequate on the secretary’s affiance will not be easy.

“I anticipate the affairs that he will airing are not bad,” said Gary Solis, who spent 20 years in the Marines as a adjudicator apostle accepted and aggressive prosecutor. He now teaches the laws of war at Georgetown University Law Center.

Eugene Fidell is addition above aggressive prosecutor and the above admiral of the Civic Institute of Aggressive Justice who currently teaches at Yale Law School. He’s a little beneath bleak about the prosecution’s affairs in the case but he said “of course, they’re traveling to accept their easily full.”

The abridgement of autopsies on the victims of the annihilation in Afghanistan’s Kandahar arena is just one of abounding hurdles that the case in this case will face already the accuse become official.

To prove anyone acquired a person’s death, prosecutors allegation a could could could cause of death. As any fan of TV’s “Law and Order,” or endless added cop shows knows, that usually agency an dissection by a argumentative pathologist.

But Afghanistan is a Muslim country and Islamic law dictates the asleep be active appropriate away, usually aural 24 hours. So no such post-mortem exams were possible. One Afghan abbot approved to advice U.S. lath but Hajji Agha Lalai Desdageeri, a affiliate of Parliament from Kandahar, told CNN that lath “should yield some samples of the asleep bodies but (many) humans aggregate about this abode and said, ‘No this is not acceptable.'”

This is not the aboriginal time U.S. prosecutors accept approved a annihilation case afterwards an autopsy.

“This is a big problem. Prosecutors accept faced that botheration in several of the cases growing out of incidents like this in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Neil Puckett who in his 20 years as a Marine, formed as aegis counsel, prosecutor and a aggressive balloon judge.

But even afterwards autopsies, aggressive prosecutors accept been able to present affirmation at antecedent trials establishing could could could cause of death.

“How it’s usually done is that (with) the could could could cause of death, you accept photographs hopefully of the bodies and of the wounds on anniversary body. And although you don’t accept the body, you present affirmation depicting the wounds and the asleep physique and you present these to a case attestant (and) a doctor, and the doctor testifies these wounds would absolutely would aftereffect in death,” Solis said. “It’s absolutely not a adopted means, but that’s how it’s been done.”

The next hurdle is accepting assemblage to testify.

“The court-martial itself has amendment power, to crave humans to appear to court, but that amendment ability does not extend above our civic basis,” Puckett said. “What we’ve apparent in the accomplished is that the U.S. government will accomplish every accomplishment to ask humans and animate them and accommodate them busline to appear to the United States to testify. More generally than not, they abatement that.”

If abeyant assemblage decline, attorneys complex in the cloister aggressive about-face to Plan B.

“The next best advantage is video teleconference testimony.”

That would crave a reside closed-circuit TV augment be accustomed amid Afghanistan and a cloister allowance in the United States.

Bale’s aegis advocate has adumbrated he intends to accession the affair of Bale’s brainy accompaniment during the trial.

“Anybody that has apparent what he’s apparent and done what he’s done at the appeal of the aggressive – and I’m not talking about these allegations – I anticipate would accept PTSD,” advocate John H. Browne, Bales’ attorney, told reporters beforehand this week.

Solis said that could advice Browne’s applicant abstain bastille time.

“Defense admonition may altercate that there is beneath capacity, admitting that fact. If the lath is affectionate and accepts that there was a abridgement of capacity, it’s believable that the lath would acquisition him not guilty.”

If Bales has brainy problems, Solis said, it ability advance to his getting bedevilled on a beneath austere allegation than getting begin not accusable beyond the board. “If the affairs are not bad that he will walk, I anticipate the affairs are acutely adequate that he will not be bedevilled of the best charges. I anticipate that if any he’ll be bedevilled of a bottom (charge).”

Between the adversity with the affirmation and the brainy bloom issues, at atomic one of the attorneys suspects there ability be a appeal arrangement afore the case anytime alcove trial. The hurdles “may incentivize the government to accommodate a plea,” Fidell said.

But if all this sounds like aegis attorneys accept an simple job ahead, they accept hurdles, too.

“The accused may accept fabricated incriminating statements, he may accept fabricated admissions if he was apprehended,” Solis said. Aegis Secretary Panetta told the media endure anniversary that Bales “told individuals what happened.”

“That abundantly anchorage the options of the aegis if your man admits he did the killing,” Solis said. But Bales’ advocate told reporters “there’s no confessions.”

And there is the affair of video from Bales’ abject that CNN’s Barbara Starr letters shows him abrogation the affected afore the cutting and advancing aback afterward.

“The blur of him concern through an orchard to abstain apprehension to get aback into the case – that, too, will militate adjoin the aegis case,” Solis said.

Clinton to accredit Egypt acceptable for U.S. aid

By Jill Dougherty and Jamie Crawfrd

In animosity of tensions with Egypt over its contempo crackdown on capitalism abutment groups, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will affair a civic aegis abandonment acceptance $1.3 billion in adopted aggressive costs to breeze afresh to the Cairo government, a chief State Department official told CNN.

Secretary Clinton, a chief State Department official confirmed, will accredit Friday to Congress that Egypt is affair its obligations beneath its accord accord with Israel. In addition, “on the base of America’s civic aegis interests,” the official said, “she will abandon aldermanic altitude accompanying to Egypt’s autonomous transition.”

The accommodation not to assert that Egypt’s aggressive administering is transitioning to noncombatant aphorism sparked actual clamor on Capital Hill but the State Department official said Egypt is affective forward.

“On the capitalism side, Egypt has fabricated added advance in 16 months than in the endure 60 years,” the official said in answer Clinton’s decision.

“Yet Egypt’s alteration to capitalism is not yet complete,” the official added, and added plan charcoal to assure accepted rights and freedoms, and the role of NGOs and civilian society.”

The funds are not accustomed in cash; all the money goes to U.S. firms with affairs to accumulation U.S. aggressive and aegis equipment, weapons, training and casework to Egypt.

“These decisions reflect our overarching goal: to advance our cardinal affiliation with an Egypt fabricated stronger and added abiding by a acknowledged alteration to democracy. ”

Even afore the State Department official appear Clinton’s decision, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, criticized it, adage he was “disappointed.”

“I apperceive Secretary Clinton wants the autonomous alteration in Egypt to succeed,” he said in a statement, “but by waiving the altitude we forward a adverse message. The Egyptian aggressive should be arresting axiological freedoms and the aphorism of law, not afflictive and arresting those who are alive for democracy.”

Leahy apprenticed Clinton to absorb some advantage over Egypt by captivation aback funds if Egypt does not accommodated it declared mileposts on the alley to autonomous transition, including casual a new architecture and attention animal rights. The secretary, he said, should “use the adaptability the law provides and absolution no added aborigine funds than is demonstrably necessary, denial the blow in the Treasury awaiting added advance in the alteration to democracy.”

The State Department official, however, adumbrated that the Obama administering will absorb some control: “Just as we do with our aggressive abetment to every country,” the official explained, “we will acquit aegis allotment as bare to accommodated acknowledged obligations, and we will advance the adaptability to accomplish adjustments to our Adopted Aggressive Costs affairs at any time if altitude crave it.”

Initial bipartisan acknowledgment to the accommodation on Capitol Hill was abundantly negative.

“The accommodation on whether to resume the aid, allowable beneath accord that led to a normalization of Egyptian-Israeli ties in 1979, had been acute on Capitol Hill in contempo weeks,” Rep. Kay Grainger, R-Texas, said in a accounting statement. “Members from both houses of Congress alleged for denial all banking abetment afterwards Egyptian authorities raided the offices of American non-governmental organizations acceptable the country’s alteration to democracy.”

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, told CNN beforehand this anniversary that while he did not anticipate a accommodation from the administering was imminent, he was accepting conversations with Clinton about the “complicated and complex” decision.

“We still accept a amount of added issues that charge to be addressed,” McCain told CNN. “But there is aswell the all-embracing affair of the aerial bearings politically in Egypt today. They’ve got elections advancing up. So we wish to counterbalance on these factors.”

McCain is administrator of the lath for the All-embracing Republican Institute, whose offices were raided by Egyptian authorities in December. The offices of two added American non-governmental organizations – Civic Autonomous Institute and Freedom House – were raided as well.

Some advisers of the groups, including the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, were prevented from abrogation Egypt for weeks because of a biking ban imposed by the government. Egyptian authorities accustomed them to acknowledgment to the United States beforehand this month.

Democracy groups aswell decried the Secretary’s waiver. Neil Hicks, all-embracing action adviser of the rights advancement accumulation Animal Rights First, told CNN Clinton’s accommodation is the “worst accessible book that we were cerebration of because it seems as admitting they accept issued the abandonment and accordingly absolutely abandoned the affair of animal rights and capitalism conditions.”

He said Animal Rights First would abutment a phased rollout of the funds. “It would appearance that there is some advantage on the animal rights and capitalism issues,” he said.”

But the State Department said continuing the aid to Egypt goes far above its sometimes bouldered alteration to democracy.

“The secretary’s accommodation is advised to advance our able abutment for Egypt’s constant role as a aegis accomplice and baton in announcement bounded stability,” the State Department official said. “Egypt has maintained 30-plus years of accord with Israel. It contributes to nonproliferation, counterterrorism and accord in the arena and beyond.”

“In the canicule to come, we attending to Egypt’s leaders to accumulate the autonomous alteration on advance and to accomplish continuing improvements in Egypt’s aegis of accepted animal rights and freedoms.”