ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md — For hearings on whether U.S. forces tortured confessions out of a Canadian teenager accused of killing an American soldier in Afghanistan, the Pentagon Monday unveiled a new face to advocate military commissions:
Fired former Bush-era prosecutor David Iglesias, a key figure in the so-called Attorney-Gate scandal. He was mobilized last year to the war court as a U.S. Navy Reserves captain.
Iglesias, a Panama-born Republican, served as George W. Bush's U.S. attorney for New Mexico during the Justice Departments of both John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales.
But in 2006 he was one of eight U.S. attorneys abruptly dismissed, triggering a high profile Congressional probe over whether the regional federal prosecutors were let go not for performance issues but because they would not time indictments and investigations favorably for the GOP at election time.
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Monday, Capt. Iglesias was part of a Pentagon prosecution team going to Guantanamo for up to two weeks of hearings on which, if any, of Omar Khadr's confessions cannot be presented to a jury at his summertime trial.
Khadr, 23, was captured in a July 2002 firefight near Khost, Afghanistan, in which Delta Forces Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer, 28, of Albuquerque, N.M., was fatally wounded by a grenade. Khadr was 15.
Pentagon prosecutors say the Toronto-born teen threw the grenade that killed Speer as a war crime. He faces charges as an al Qaeda foot soldier and murderer; prosecutors seek life in prison, not the maximum penalty of death, in consideration of his age.
Khadr is the youngest "enemy combatant" at Guantanamo Bay today, where the Defense Department this week was holding about 183 detainees.
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