Undisclosed interviews of Guantanamo detainees jeopardize Paris terror trial

[JURIST] Six former Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees now on trial [JURIST report] in Paris were interviewed by French authorities while they were still being held at the US prison, according to a French newspaper. A French diplomatic telegram published in the Liberation daily Wednesday referred to intelligence agents who conducted interviews with the suspects at least twice while at Guantanamo [Liberation report, in French]. The prosecution in the Paris trial failed to disclose the secret interviews in preparation for their trial, however, and defense lawyers claim those violated their defendants' rights because no lawyer was present when they took place. The failure to disclose the interviews could render the case invalid, but Judge Jean-Claude Kross refused to halt the proceeding over the diplomatic document because its authenticity has not been established.

The six terror defendants stand accused of attending combat training at an al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan. France freed five of the suspects after their repatriation to France from Guantanamo in July 2004 and March 2005 [BBC reports]. The prosecution alleges that the six suspects were recruited by Rachid Boukhalfa, an Algerian held in a British prison also known as Abu Doha. France formally charged the six defendants [JURIST report] in April. Reuters has more. Liberation has local coverage.



 

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