Criminal Justice

Nuremberg Attorney: Gitmo Trials Unfair

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An 88-year-old American lawyer who helped try war criminals at Nuremberg, Germany, after World War II says today’s Guantanamo Bay cases fly in the face of the prosecutorial precedent he helped set there.

“I think Robert Jackson, who’s the architect of Nuremberg, would turn over in his grave if he knew what was going on at Guantanamo,” former prosecutor Henry King Jr. told Reuters today. “It violates the Nuremberg principles, what they’re doing, as well as the spirit of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.”

King, a professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Ohio who interrogated infamous Nuremberg defendant Albert Speer, says military tribunals of so-called enemy combantants being held at Gitmo under the 2006 Military Commissions Act violate fundament American principles of fairness and justice. “To torture people and then you can bring evidence you obtained into court? Hearsay evidence is allowed? Some evidence is available to the prosecution and not to the defendants? This is a type of ‘justice’ that Jackson didn’t dream of,” King says.

Three Nuremberg defendants were acquitted, he notes.

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