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Indianapolis attorney to represent accused USS Cole bomber mastermind

April 28, 2011

A week after the federal government announced it would seek the death penalty against the prime suspect in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, the Department of Defense has appointed an Indianapolis attorney to represent the man who will face the first military tribunal under President Barack Obama’s administration.

The April 27 order from the Office of Military Commissions names Richard Kammen from Kammen Maryan & Moudy as learned counsel for accused bomber, Abd al-Rahim Hussein Mohammed Al-Nashiri of Saudi Arabia, in a capital military commission at Guantanamo Bay.

This would be the first of its kind since President Obama in March announced that military tribunals could be used at Guantanamo, a reversal of his 2009 freezing of such proceedings at the Cuba naval base. Charges are that Al-Nashiri was in charge of the planning and preparation for the attack on USS Cole in Yemen that killed 17 sailors and wounded several dozen more. He also is alleged to have a role in planning another attempted attack and one in France.

The order appointing Kammen refers to his experience counseling Al-Nashiri in the past.

“As you indicated in your request for Mr. Kammen's services, my decision to fund Mr. Kammen is the most expeditious way to provide Mr. Al-Nashiri the assistance of learned counsel and to avoid significant delay in processing the case,” wrote Bruce MacDonald with the Convening Authority for Military Commissions. “Mr. Kammen's prior relationship with Mr. Al-Nashiri, including multiple visits to meet with him in Guantanamo, participation in investigation of the case in foreign countries, and other work done by Mr. Kammen on behalf of Mr. Al-Nashiri will benefit the interests of both the defense and the government.”

The order details that Kammen will receive $178 per hour.

A 1971 graduate of New York University School of Law who’s been practicing in this state since then, Kammen is a nationally recognized expert on the death penalty and has represented many clients in the state and federal capital systems.

 

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