Saturday, November 3, 2018

A difference of opinion

Asharq Al-Awsat reports that:
The families of Algerian senior officers, who have been in prison for the past 20 days, have protested the military court's rejection to appoint lawyers for them.
The military court grants the judge the right to reject any lawyer at the start of a trial. But it doesn’t allow him to ban a defendant from choosing a lawyer.
A judicial official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the families of the five generals detained in connection with a corruption case are dissatisfied with the decision of the judge at Blida Military Court.
According to the official, the judge has claimed that the defendants don’t need lawyers at this stage because the investigation is still at its beginning. . . . 
The officials face charges of “illicit enrichment” and the use of their positions for personal gains.
U. S. military law requires that a suspect placed in pretrial confinement shall have a hearing on whether the pretrial confinement should continue and has the right to counsel for that hearing. So there appears to be more than one difference of opinion here.

See generally Martin Schoenteich, Why the Overuse of Pretrial Detention is an Overlooked Human Crisis, Open Society Foundation, 12 Sept. 2018.  The article speaks more broadly than military pretrial detention.  But it's an interesting view of the topic of pretrial detention and how it affects the accused.

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