Pentagon pulls order relocating military judges to Guantanamo

By Ian Simpson FORT MEADE, Md. (Reuters) – The U.S. Defense Department said on Friday it had rescinded an order relocating military judges to Guantanamo Bay that was intended to speed up trials of al Qaeda suspects but drew allegations of Pentagon meddling in the judicial process. Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work’s about-face on his Jan. 7 order clears a hurdle for the slow-running trials at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. He cited “unlawful command influence,” or Pentagon meddling in the judicial process. In a statement, Work’s office said he “believes it is important to preserve the independence of the Military Commission (court) in appearance, as well as in fact.” Work’s order had stripped three military judges of other duties and ordered them to move to Guantanamo Bay indefinitely to speed up the proceedings.

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