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Mental health experts get access to detainee’s CIA file

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Gitmo prisonAn Army judge is giving a military mental-health board access to an alleged al Qaida deputy’s secret CIA file, covering the time when agents waterboarded the man and subjected him to a mock execution with a power drill, to help evaluate if he can go on trial.

Saudi-born captive Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, 48, is facing a death-penalty trial as accused mastermind of the Oct. 12, 2000 suicide bombing of the USS Cole off Yemen in which 17 American sailors were killed. The trial could start next year.

The prosecution persuaded Army Col. James Pohl, the judge, to order the mental health evaluation by an undisclosed medical panel.

The examiners will include three or more physicians or clinical psychologists, Pohl wrote in an order dated Thursday but obtained by The Miami Herald on Friday. One must be a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist and none can be mental health counselors who have already worked with Nashiri.

At issue is whether the man whom agents sought to break through waterboarding, threatening to rape his mother in front of him and staging his mock execution with a drill while he was naked and hooded is mentally competent to stand trial.

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