The Lawfare Podcast

Lawfare Podcast Episode #32: A Discussion with 9/11 Case Defense Lawyer CDR Walter Ruiz

By Wells Bennett
Sunday, May 26, 2013, 5:00 PM

This week, I interviewed CDR Walter Ruiz, a lawyer for accused 9/11 co-conspirator Mustafa al-Hawsawi.

Our discussion touched on, among other things: the fairness of military commission rules; Ruiz's contention that the rules allow evidence derived from torture; Ruiz's own background; his experiences as capital defense counsel in history's most closely-watched terrorism case;  and the burdens on commission defense lawyers.  Ruiz describes a lack of needed logistical resources, onerous secrecy restrictions, his concerns about the confidentiality of defense communications.

Regarding the latter, Ruiz mentioned some recent and widely-publicized mishaps in the case---such as a hidden third party's cancellation of the courtroom's audio feed, and the disclosure of defense emails to prosecutors---but suggested that these episodes are actually good the defense in that they have created possible issues for appeal.