Guten Morgen

One case brought me back to Kuwait very recently for a contested trial where I obtained a full acquittal! This officer, a Captain who is a West Point graduate, was accused of having inappropriate and illegal images on his computer. Client was a Company Commander of HHD Signal Company in Qatar and performed duties at Bagram, Afghanistan. An anonymous informant alerted the Bn Chaplain that the anonymous informant found pornography on a computer (which is illegal via a US General Order out of respect for the Muslim host nation). The anonymous informant obtained access remotely and using special permissions which the informant believed were illegal and told the Chaplain this fact. Chaplain told his higher command but would not release the informants name or identity. A search was made on my client's government issued equipment and his personal computer effects in his quarters. Pornography was found on his computer equipment. At the Court Martial, the Defense obtained testimony that remote access is common, that password and user ids were shared among the BDE and BN, and that the client let many people use his personal computer in his room for e-mail etc since computers and LAN access were scarce in Qatar. We lost a motion to suppress, but obtained a verdict of Not Guilty on all Charges and Specifications.

Another case in Kuwait which wrapped up recently was a vehicle accident where a Kuwaiti national was trying to avoid my client's convoy and hit his tractor-trailer and was killed. My client was charged with negligent homicide. My client was driving in the lead position on a 24-vehicle convoy traveling south from Iraq to Kuwait. While my client was trying to make a suitable U-turn that could accommodate the convoy, my client radioed back to his Convoy Commander for permission to make the U-turn. After receiving the permission, he checked his mirrors and began to execute the turn. As he traveled for 12-15 seconds and was perpendicular to the southbound lane, my client's vehicle was struck by a white pickup truck driven by a Kuwaiti national. The Kuwaiti national was killed as the result of several factors: (1) the Kuwaiti was speeding or traveling at a "high rate of speed between 80-90 MPH"; (2) the Kuwaiti was not wearing his seatbelt; (3) the Kuwaiti did not take prudent avoidance maneuvers; (4) the Kuwaiti hit the front-left corner of SGT Rose's 915 Bobtail, and (5) the Kuwaiti, due to the speed momentum, flipped 4 times and was ejected from the vehicle (due to no seatbelt restraint). For his part, my client never traveled on this road before and determined that the (a) U-turn was suitable for the convoy, (b) it was immediately ahead and could accommodate the convoy, (c) stopped the convoy safely; (d) asked for permission to make the U-turn; (e) knew it was legal to make that turn (under Kuwaiti law); (f) knew making a U-turn was permissible (IAW established Battalion SOPs and Rules of the Road); (g) took all actions that were prudent and required in operating a 915 Bobtail; and (f) followed SOP by not going down an unknown road and taking the first available turn-around. I was able to convince the Article 32 Officer to recommend that the Charges NOT go forward and reasonable grounds did not exist to move this case forward. The Convening Authority chose to have this case go to a Summary Court martial - which will not be a federal conviction and is the lowest level of Courts-Martial (esp. considering the nature of the charges).



Hope all is well!



Vote on this Story by clicking on the Icon


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment