Tags: guatanamo | hearings | infiltration

Guantanamo 9/11 Hearing to Focus on FBI Infiltration

Monday, 15 Dec 2014 06:18 AM

FBI efforts to infiltrate defense teams will top the agenda when a U.S. military court hearing for suspects in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks starts on Monday, the first such proceeding since a Senate report on CIA torture was released last week.

The two-day pretrial hearing at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will focus on the extent of Federal Bureau of Investigation intrusion into defense teams, according to the docket on a Pentagon website.

Judge James Pohl, an Army colonel, ruled in July that no conflict of interest arose for defense attorneys from the FBI approaching a security officer for a defense team. The allegations surfaced in April, further delaying a complex, slow-moving case.

Lawyers for accused Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other suspects want Pohl to determine the extent of FBI contact with defense team members.

"Otherwise, we can't dispel the idea we're being watched, which chills the ability to conduct a defense," said David Nevin, the lead counsel for Mohammed.

The Defense Department website shows a flurry of secret filings in recent days, including from a special Justice Department team appointed to investigate the FBI's role.

Mohammed and fellow Sept. 11 suspect Ramzi Binalshibh were among prisoners who underwent torture by the Central Intelligence Agency, according to the report by the Senate Intelligence Committee released on Tuesday.

The report on the CIA interrogation program implemented after the Sept. 11 attacks said Mohammed was subjected to waterboarding, or simulated drowning, "rectal hydration" and sleep deprivation.

Nevin and James Connell III, a lawyer for accused Sept. 11 plotter Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, said the Senate report was unlikely to be raised at the Guantanamo Bay hearing.

"It certainly will not be the central focus," Connell said.

He added that the report showed alleged mistreatment not only of defendants, but of a potential witness, Majid Khan, an aide to Mohammed. He said prosecutors needed to turn material on treatment of defendants and witnesses over to defense lawyers.

Lieutenant Colonel Myles Caggins III, a Pentagon spokesman on military commissions, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The 2001 attacks using hijacked airliners killed almost 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. The defendants face possible death penalties if convicted.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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FBI efforts to infiltrate defense teams will top the agenda when a U.S. military court hearing for suspects in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks starts on Monday, the first such proceeding since a Senate report on CIA torture was released last week. The two-day pretrial hearing...
guatanamo, hearings, infiltration
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2014-18-15
Monday, 15 Dec 2014 06:18 AM
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