Monday, September 26, 2016

Here we go again

A Tunisian journalist has been summoned before the military court's juge d'instruction on suspicion of having insulted the dignity and reputation of the Army in a Bastille Day article. Details here, en français.

Bridging process in Buchris case

Brig. Gen. (res) Ofek Buchris
Haaretz reports here that the case of IDF Brigadier General (res) Ofek Buchris is heading into a "bridging" process -- a kind of mediation -- presided over by a retired Military Advocate General and judge -- with a view to achieving a pretrial agreement. The article is quite interesting for its description of the process as well as how and when the victims get to express their views.

Ugandan MP appeals to the Court of Appeal

The Ugandan MP who is among the civilians being tried by court-martial has appealed the High Court decision upholding the court-martial's jurisdiction over him. The Monitor has details here. Excerpt:
On September 16, Justice [Patricia] Basaza [Wasswa] dismissed the MP's petition which was challenging his trial under martial law when he is a civilian. The judge held that Section 119 of the UPDF Act gives unlimited jurisdiction and powers to the General Court Martial to try even civilians. 
Justice Basaza added that unless the Act is repealed or invalidated by the Constitutional Court, the law demands that civilian suspects be subjected to military law if they are liable for aiding and abetting serving UPDF officers to commit service offences. 
Mr [Michael] Kabaziguruka contends that the trial judge erred in law and fact when she found that the court martial had jurisdiction to try him. He says the judge failed to exercise her jurisdiction under article 50 of the Constitution and, therefore, failed to find that he could not have a fair trial in the military court.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

One-line decision in Pakistani capital cases

One fact particularly jumps out in this story about the latest capital case challenges in Pakistan: the Army Court of Appeals is said to have disposed of the cases in a one-line decision. Excerpt:
They contended the judgment passed by the FGCM [Field General Court-Martial] was challenged before a Military Court of Appeals that through single lined Judgment rejected their appeals on July 25, 2016. 
During proceedings of appeals, the petitioners were not provided with the copies of FGCM proceedings.
The petitioners contended that they were innocent and had been made scapegoats to save the real culprits involved in different cases. 
They argued that from the sequence of events right from their arrest till rejection of appeals, it appeared that the petitioners had been awarded death penalty already determined by the elements at the helms of affairs. 
The sentence is not sustainable in the eye of law. 
The petitioners further contended that throughout the court proceedings, their lawyer provided them for defense was a mere spectator. 
All witnesses had changed and fine-tuned their statements recorded previously.

Turkish proposal to abolish top military courts

There seems to be a movement afoot to amend the Turkish Constitution in ways that will affect military justice, including abolition of the top military courts. Sparse details here. Stay tuned.