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You are here News Human Rights Guantánamo judge orders Pentagon to let him read Red Cross-U.S. correspondence

Guantánamo judge orders Pentagon to let him read Red Cross-U.S. correspondence

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Red Cross filesThe military judge in the Sept. 11 trial ordered the U.S. government Wednesday to turn over all correspondence from the International Committee of the Red Cross about the treatment of the alleged 9/11 conspirators in Guantánamo detention, a blow to Pentagon arguments that the contacts are confidential.

Defense lawyers hailed the decision by the judge, Army Col. James Pohl, who will review years of reports between the Geneva-based aid agency and the United States dating to the Bush administration to decide if the material is relevant to the defense of accused Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators.

Pretrial conditions can be at issue in U.S. military trials, and the defense lawyers want to examine how the five alleged terrorists were treated at Guantánamo to argue against their tribunal’s going forward as a death-penalty trial.

“The ICRC records may provide important information about the extremely harsh conditions of confinement at Guantánamo over the years,” said James Connell, attorney for Ammar al Baluchi, Mohammed’s nephew and an alleged co-conspirator.

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