Ex-Guantanamo translator enters guilty plea

[JURIST] A former civilian Arabic translator at the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST Hot Topic] detention camp pleaded guilty Monday to charges of mishandling classified information and lying to investigators. Ahmed Fathy Mehalba, a naturalized US citizen of Egyptian origin, has been incarcerated since his arrest at Logan Airport on September 29, 2003 where he was found to be carrying computer discs that held secret information from his work. Review the original FBI criminal complaint [PDF]. Mehalba's plea represents the first time he has admitted that he knew the discs he had were improperly removed from the base. Defense counsel has stressed however, that Mehalba's bi-polar disorder, for which his is currently on medication, contributed to a confused state of mind, which made it difficult for Mehalba to concentrate on what he was doing. The prosecution has indicated its willingness to allow Mehalba credit for time served, however, which means that by March 8, the scheduled sentencing hearing, he might be free to go. JURIST's Paper Chase has coverage of Mehalba's initial indictment and his original not-guilty plea. The Boston Globe has more.

 

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