US military judge rules Hamdan lawyers can question Guantanamo detainees

[JURIST] US military judge Navy Capt. Keith Allred has affirmed [ruling, PDF] a prior ruling [PDF text; JURIST report] that lawyers for Guantanamo Bay detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] may send written questions to Khalid Sheik Mohammed [BBC profile] and other alleged high-level al Qaeda detainees. In a Friday ruling made public Wednesday, Allred found that questioning the detainees could lead to the discovery of evidence on the issue of whether Hamdan was an al Qaeda agent who conspired in the USS Cole or Sept. 11 attacks or whether he simply worked as Osama bin Laden's driver and had no involvement in the attacks.

In a motion [PDF text] filed in January, Hamdan's lawyers requested face-to-face interviews, but in February Allred limited the discovery to written questions, which must be reviewed by an independent security officer. Any answers will be censored according to national security concerns. Also in February, Hamdan's lawyers urged Allred to drop the charges [JURIST report] against Hamdan. In December, Allred denied [JURIST report] a request by Hamdan's lawyers for immediate access to top terrorism suspects, citing security concerns that he addressed in his later rulings. The Miami Herald has more.



 

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