Memphis native defends 9-11 detainee - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis native defends 9-11 detainee

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The Obama administration is planning to appoint a special envoy to oversee the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

A Memphis-born attorney defending one of the 9-11 detainees sat down Thursday with Action News Five's Anna Marie Hartman to talk about the case and the future of the detention center.

Memphis native Major Jon Jackson has been traveling back and forth to the Guantanamo Bay detention center to represent one of five 9/11 terrorists.  Now with the possible closure of Guantanamo, Jackson's case is on hold.

Jackson was assigned to represent Mustafa Ahmed Al Hawsawi, a man accused of funneling money back and forth to the 9/11 terrorist hijackers.  Jackson says if Guantanamo closes, he may have to start the proceedings over.  But he would rather see Al Hawsawi tried in public - and according to the federal justice system - instead of the procedures established by a military commission under the Bush administration. 

"The Military Commissions Act allowed for coerced statements, tortured evidence, and hearsay evidence, which is in direct in contravention to the U. S. Constitution," Jackson said. "So what the president has done is he has pushed the pause button, and he's deciding whether he wants to go forward with a military commission with changed ruled, court marshal or regular federal court. I believe regular federal courts are the proper venue for these cases.

Right now, Al Hawsawi's case has been continued pending the review of a Guantanamo closure. 

According to Jackson, only five family members of the 9/11 victims at a time can currently witness the proceedings at Guantanamo. 

He hopes a change of venue will allow everyone in the country to witness the proceedings.

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