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US to Allow Terror Suspects Right to Request Legal Help


A published report says 14 terrorism suspects transferred to the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba have been formally offered the right to request attorneys.

The Washington Post reports Friday, that the 14 suspects were sent to Guantanamo last year from secret U.S. prisons overseas, and have been labeled "high value detainees" by authorities. The suspects include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

The newspaper says at least four of the detainees given forms for legal representation have requested attorneys.

The legal representation is reported to be the suspects' first contact with anyone other than their captors and representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The Bush administration has argued in the past against granting lawyers access to the high-value detainees, saying it could reveal classified elements of the CIA-run secret prisons and their interrogation tactics.

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