Richard W. Roberts
|Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia|
|Preceded by||Royce C. Lamberth|
|Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia|
June 23, 1998
|Appointed by||Bill Clinton|
|Preceded by||Charles Robert Richey|
|Born||1953 (age 60–61)
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||Vassar College
School for International Training
|M.I.A.||1975||School for International Training|
Roberts played a number of different roles in the US justice system prior to his appointment as a judge.
Covington & Burling
Department of Justice
Appointment to the bench
Roberts's role in the controversy over the CIA's destruction of interrogation tapes
Roberts issued a court order prohibiting the CIA destroying evidence of its use of interrogations in July 2005. CIA Director Michael V. Hayden acknowledged in December 2007 that the CIA had subsequently destroyed hundreds of hours of tapes of the use of "extended interrogation techniques", including the technique known as "waterboarding", where subjects's lungs are filled with water, so they experience the first stages of drowning.
Many commentators have described the CIA's destruction of this evidence as a violation of Roberts's court order. On January 24, 2008 Roberts demanded an explanation from the CIA for the tapes' destruction.
In December 2007 Charles H. Carpenter (American lawyer), representing a Guantanamo captive from Yemen named Hani Abdullah filed a motion, before Roberts, arguing that the evidence the CIA destroyed would have helped prove his client's innocence.
- "Judge Richard W. Roberts". United States Department of Justice. Retrieved 2008-03-29.
- "Richard W. Roberts named Criminal Section Chief in Civil RIghts Division". United States Department of Justice. May 1, 1995. Retrieved 2008-03-29.
- Mark Mazzetti, Scott Shane (March 28, 2008). "Tapes’ Destruction Hovers Over Detainee Cases". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-29. "One of the court orders, issued in July 2005 by Judge Richard W. Roberts of the Federal District Court in Washington, required the preservation of all evidence related to Hani Abdullah, the Yemeni prisoner at Guantánamo, who is accused of attending a Qaeda training camp in 2001 and other offenses. Judge Roberts said in a January order that Mr. Abdullah’s lawyers had made a plausible case that Abu Zubaydah would have been asked about their client in interrogations."
- "Destroyed tapes come back to vex CIA". United Press International. March 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-29. "In a suit brought by Hani Abdullah, a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a federal judge has raised the possibility that the U.S. spy agency violated a court order to preserve all evidence relevant to the prisoner by destroying the tapes, The New York Times reported Friday."
- Matt Apuzzo (25 January 2008). "Judge seeking details on CIA tapes". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 2008-03-29. "Several judges are considering wading into the dispute over the videos, but U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts was the first to order the administration to provide a written report on the matter. The decision is a legal setback for the Bush administration, which has urged courts not to get involved."
- "U.S. judge orders White House to explain destruction of CIA tapes". CBC News. 25 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-29. "There's enough there that it's worth asking" whether other videos or documents were also destroyed, said attorney Charles H. Carpenter (American lawyer), who represents Guantanamo Bay detainee Hani Abdullah. "I don't know the answer to that question, but the government does know the answer and now they have to tell Judge Roberts."
- Carol D. Leonnig (December 22, 2007). "Detainee Evidence Probe Weighed: Judge Told Guantanamo Information May Have Been Destroyed". Washington Post. p. A02. Retrieved 2008-03-29.
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