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Release No: 543-11
June 23, 2011

New Military Commissions Chief Prosecutor Announced

                The Department of Defense announced today the appointment of Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins to be the chief prosecutor, Office of Military Commissions.

                Martins will succeed Navy Capt. John Murphy, who has served as chief prosecutor since May 2009, and has been assigned to the Office of Military Commissions since April 2007.  Martins is currently deployed to Afghanistan, where he is serving as commander of the Rule of Law Field Force, and he will assume his new duties as chief prosecutor on or about Oct. 1.  Murphy is a Navy reservist who will be returning soon to civilian life as an assistant U.S. attorney in Louisiana.  In the interim, Air Force Col. Michael O’Sullivan will serve as the acting chief prosecutor.

                “I would personally like to commend Capt. Murphy for his hard work, record of performance, and tremendous dedication as chief prosecutor, and for his service to the nation for the past two years,” said the General Counsel of the Department of Defense, Jeh Johnson.

                “I am proud and pleased to have Brig. Gen. Martins serve as the chief prosecutor for the Office of Military Commissions.  In 2009, Brig. Gen. Martins co-led the interagency Detention Policy Task Force created by President Obama.  As part of that review, the task force recommended reforms to the military commissions process, and Brig. Gen. Martins was himself instrumental in working with other agencies and with Congress in the passage of reforms codified in the Military Commissions Act of 2009,” said Johnson. 

                Martins has had a distinguished career in the military, as a soldier and judge advocate.  His career has also included assignments as deputy legal counsel to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and as staff judge advocate for Multi-National Force-Iraq under Gen. David Petraeus.  Martins finished first in his class at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  He was also a Rhodes Scholar and graduate of Harvard Law School, where he served on the Harvard Law Review.  In 2011, Martins received Harvard Law School’s Medal of Freedom.

                Johnson also commended the fine work of Marine Col. Jeffrey Colwell, who will continue as chief defense counsel.  Johnson reiterated the Department of Defense’s commitment to provide all the resources needed to support the military commissions process, for both the prosecution and defense.

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