[JURIST] The US Department of Defense has formally allowed fourteen "high-value" terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] the right to request lawyers, the Washington Post reported Friday. The move could pave the way for the "high-value" detainees to challenge their status as enemy combatants in the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website]. In the past, defense officials have argued that allowing the "high-value" detainees access to lawyers without stringent security rules could reveal classified CIA information about alleged secret prisons [CoE materials], rendition flights [JURIST news archive] and interrogation methods. Lawyers will be able to communicate with the fourteen detainees after passing a security clearance.
The detainees received request forms [PDF text] in late August and early September, and at least four have already requested lawyers. Last week, the DOJ cut off lawyer access to some 40 detainees [JURIST report] after US District Judge Ricardo Urbina dismissed 16 habeas corpus challenges, rendering invalid protocols that had been established governing lawyers' access to detainees. The Washington Post has more.