TRIALS BY FIRE - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

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TRIALS BY FIRE - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

incapacitated from continued participationin the plot. Presumably,rendered individuals will ultimatelybe convicted of a crime througha formal legal process, althoughin recent years this has not alwaysbeen the case.The US can collect time-sensitive intelligence.Critical information fromrendered individuals can be gleanedfrom rendered suspects’ subsequentinterrogations. For example,Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, phot taken by U.S.forces when KSM was captured.according to CIA director George Tenet’s memoirs, after 9/11 mastermindKhalid Shaykh Mohammed (KSM) was arrested in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, andhanded over to US custody for interrogation, he quickly provided his debriefersactionable information that was used to arrest the leader and several topmembers of Jemaah Islamiya, an extremist group based in Southeast Asia. 102Some countries prefer rendition to extradition. Certain nations prefer secretlyhanding suspects over to US custody instead of keeping them in their own detentionfacilities for domestic legal proceedings.Reasons for this preference vary widely. Some nations fear their rudimentarylegal infrastructure will be unable to handle a high-profile case. Others fearthat judges overseeing terror trials will be bribed or susceptible to intimidation.For instance, after the 1993 New York World Trade Center bombing mastermindRamzi Yousef was arrested in Islamabad, he was rendered to the USbecause the Pakistani government determined local public pressure to releasehim from custody would be too great. 103Some countries have lower thresholds for criminal convictions than the US.The US civilian legal system has strict standards governing the admission ofevidence. Thus, one of the thorniest problems facing prosecutors of renderedsuspects is that critical evidence is often either classified, and therefore cannotbe presented at trial, or inadmissible due to failure to follow constitutionalBelfer Center for Science and International Affairs | Harvard Kennedy School59

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