Workshop: Former US Guantanamo Bay Prosecutor Speaks Out (October 2010)

Presentation by Lieutenant Colonel Darrel J. Vandeveld (US Army Reserve)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 – 12:30-2:30pm

Location: Senate Chamber (9th Floor), Ross Building

audio recording

Darrel J. Vandeveld is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve, who, since September 2001, has served in Bosnia, Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan. From May 2007 to December 2008, on leave from his civilian position as a Senior Deputy Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Mr. Vandeveld spent eighteen months as a prosecutor in the Guantanamo Military Commissions, at one point handling one out of every three cases filed by the government. In the summer of 2008, Lieutenant Colonel Vandeveld began to express misgivings about various aspects of the Commissions, including basic notions of due process and the provision of discovery to the defense. In September 2008, while still a prosecutor at the Commissions, a military judge ordered Lt.Col. Vandeveld to testify in the case of United States v. Mohammed Jawad, in which Mr. Jawad had been accused of wounding two US soldiers and their Afghan interpreter in a grenade attack in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2002, when Mr. Jawad would have been fifteen years old. The Army removed Lt.Col. Vandeveld from active duty, but the case against Mr. Jawad disintegrated three months later, when a military judge suppressed supposed confessions by Mr. Jawad, on the grounds that the statements had been obtained through the use of torture. Mr. Jawad’s military defense counsel, Air Force Reserve Lieutenant Colonel David Frakt, and his civilian defense counsel, Jonathan Hafetz of the ACLU, later obtained Mr. Jawad’s release through a successful habeas petition in US District Court. Mr. Jawad is now free and living in Kabul; Mr. Vandeveld retired from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office and is now Erie County, Pennsylvania’s Chief Public Defender. Mr. Vandeveld received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of California.

For further information, please contact Professor James Stribopoulos (jstribopoulos@osgoode.yorku.ca)