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Victim/Witness Assistance Program

Victim/Witness Assistance Program
The Office of Military Commissions (OMC) Victim/Witness Assistance Program (VWAP) is a Directorate under the Office of Military Commissions Chief Prosecutor. The Victim/Witness Assistance Program Directorate is committed to making military commissions accessible to victims and their family members, and to providing logistical support for witnesses participating in military commissions.
Victims and their Families
The Office of Military Commissions Victim/Witness Assistance Program is committed to ensuring that victims are:
  • Treated with fairness and respect for the victim’s privacy and dignity
  • Reasonably protected from the accused offender
  • Free to confer with the Victim/Witness Assistance Program Director
  • Afforded an opportunity to speak with the prosecutors assigned to the case
  • Notified of court proceedings
  • Provided information about the conviction, sentencing, imprisonment and transfer of the offender, for the duration of military commission proceedings.
All of the above stems from the duty that rests with the Prosecution, and only the Prosecution, to monitor and protect the rights of victims and family members of victims. This duty given to the Prosecution is contained in both Federal and Military law.
The Victim/Witness Assistance Program Directorate is also committed to ensuring that witnesses participating in military commissions proceedings are able to do so safely and in a manner that protects their privacy. The VWAP Directorate provides logistical and other support to military commission witnesses. For more information, witnesses should coordinate with the party calling them to testify.
Contact the Interim Director, Victim Witness Assistance Program, Chuck Zelnis
Contact his staff at
If you would like to speak with the attorneys representing the accused, and not the prosecution, which includes Mr. Zelnick and his staff, you may contact the Defense.
Defense Teams Points of Contact
Victims/Family Members who wish to speak to the defense teams for the 9/11 Cases (US v. KSM, et. al.):
  • For the defense team representing the Accused Hawsawi, please contact Lisa McDermott at (561) 792-7000 or
  • For the defense teams representing the Accused’s’ Mohammad, bin 'Atash, bin al Shibh and al Baluchi please contact Tammy Krause at (540) 656-6842 or Susan Casey at (404) 242-5195.
For the USS Cole Case (U.S. v. al-Nashiri):
For the Nashwan Case (U.S. v. Hadi al Iraqi)
  • For the defense team please contact Brian Ruffin at 703-695-5274.
For all other cases, please contact the Deputy Chief Defense Counsel at 703-695-5274.