Guantanamo Inmate Got Serious Head Injury While In CIA Custody: Lawyer

Image: Guantanamo Inmate Got Serious Head Injury While In CIA Custody: Lawyer

Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 05:04 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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The attorney of an accused terrorist inmate held at Guantanamo Bay said his client received a serious head injury while in CIA custody, citing medical records as evidence.

Ammar al-Baluchi, accused of involvement with the Sept. 11 attack, has reported various long-lasting issues since the head injury, including hallucinations, headaches, and memory problems, James Connell, his attorney, said at a pretrial hearing Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.

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Al-Baluchi was in CIA custody from 2003 to September 2006, when he was put in Guantanamo, the AP said.

“Mr. Al-Baluchi reported maltreatment and nothing happened,” Connell told the judge. “These records just moldered away with no follow-up.”

Connell argued that his client’s inability to complain about mistreatment violated the Convention Against Torture, which is an international treaty the United States approved in the 1990s.

The CIA didn’t comment on al-Baluchi’s allegation because of the current case, the AP said.

Connell and defense attorneys are arguing that accounts of their defendant’s treatment while in CIA custody don’t need to be classified because of security secrets, the Miami Herald said.

“What is clear is that there is a right to complain,” the Herald quoted Connell, who cited two medical reports that said “suspected detainee maltreatment.”

Al-Baluchi, 36, is one of five people who face trial and the death penalty for the 9/11 attacks that killed almost 3,000. He is the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged leader of the attack, and supposedly sent money to those who hijacked the airplanes, The Washington Post said.

The suspected terrorist was detained in Pakistan in 2003, and spent the next three years in the CIA’s “rendition, detention and interrogation program, which included the use of such methods as being repeatedly smashed into a flexible wall, confined in a small space, deprived of sleep and the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding,” the Post wrote.

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