Army prosecutor quits Guantanamo war court case

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — An Army prosecutor has resigned from the Guantanamo war court in a crisis of conscience over plans to try a young Afghan accused of throwing a grenade rather than settle the case out of court, according to an affidavit filed with the court Wednesday.

Army Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld, a reservist from the Pittsburgh area, becomes the fourth known prosecutor to quit the Pentagon's controversial military commissions, which the Bush administration set up after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

A former chief war crimes prosecutor, Air Force Col. Morris Davis, quit last year, saying he had been pressured to rush trials ahead of the national elections and to sacrifice transparency.

Now, the showdown has taken place in the case of an alleged Afghan foot soldier, Mohammed Jawad, who has garnered little attention, and was expected back before Army Judge Stephen Henley on Thursday for pre-trial hearings. Jawad, about 23, is accused of attempted murder for allegedly throwing a grenade in a Kabul bazaar in December 2002, wounding two U.S. soldiers and their translator.

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