‘I’m only legal rep of Al-Kandari in Kuwait’… Attorney stresses dropping charges has positive impact

4 July, 2012

published: Arab Times

Attorney Adel Abdul-hadi, Managing Partner at Al-Oula Law Firm, stressed Tuesday that he is the only legal representative of Fayiz Al-Kandari — one of the Kuwaitis detained in Guantanamo Bay Prison — in Kuwait.

This came after Kuwaiti Ambassador in Washington Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah issued a statement Sunday, alleging the defense lawyer has spread wrong information on the case of Al-Kandari and Fawzi Al-Odah — another Kuwaiti inmate in Guantanamo.

Abdulhadi said, “As the only official attorney and legal representative of Al-Kandari in Kuwait, I have the power to assess and determine which information should remain classified and which can be made available to the public. My previous statement on the decision of the US Government to withdraw the charges against Al-Kandari was in line with the principle of preserving the trust he bestowed upon me and motivated by my conviction to be transparent in dealing with the people of Kuwait.”

Commenting on the Ambassador’s claim that Attorney Abdul Rahman Al-Haroun is the lawyer for Guantanamo Bay detainees, Abdulhadi explained the Kuwait Family Committee appointed Al-Haroun in 2002 when the relatives of the detainees were allowed to issue powers of attorney on behalf of their relatives who were incommunicado. He pointed out that since the detainees are no longer
incommunicado; the right conferred on their relatives is now null and void because the detainees have automatically regained their right to choose a lawyer. “Al-Kandari is no longer incommunicado. He has revoked all authorizations given earlier by the committee and has appointed the members of his defense team, including me as his only legal attorney in Kuwait. The Ambassador must be aware of the general legal principles applicable not only in Kuwait. Legal representation can be lawful only when a power of attorney is issued. Anyone who claims to have Al-Kandari’s mandate should present proof; otherwise, they should refrain from issuing statements or acting on his behalf,” Abdulhadi added.

On the Ambassador’s assertion that the decision of the US to drop the charges against Al-Kandari will not lead to his release, Abdulhadi stressed the international law states that, “No person shall be detained without charges against him.” He argued, “The US administration had previously maintained allegations against Al-Kandari and even raised charges to the level of war crimes. From my legal point of view, dropping these allegations through a letter signed by Admiral Bruce MacDonald without any reference to the reason given by the Ambassador clearly shows the charges are baseless.”

Abdulhadi reiterated he made the announcement on dropping all the charges filed against his client immediately after receiving the letter signed by MacD-onald. “I am confident this development has had a very positive impact on the families of the detainees and has brought joy to the people of Kuwait, regarding it as a light in the dark tunnel,” he said.