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Rights Group Fears Government Will Destroy Evidence on Guantanamo Suicides


A legal group representing a detainee who committed suicide at Guantanamo Naval Base earlier this month is expressing concern that the Bush administration may intentionally dispose of evidence related to the case.

The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights this week sought court protection of evidence related to the death of its client, Ali Abdullah Ahmed al-Salami. It said the Bush administration has failed to provide a death certificate or autopsy report since three Guantanamo inmates were found dead in their cells June 10.

The motion also asks for an independent investigation into the suicides.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told VOA that preservation of evidence is standard military practice and, in his words, "a vital part" of such an investigation. But he said such evidence is not likely to be made public before the inquiry is complete.

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