News / USA

Guantanamo Guards Accused of Improper Document Seizures

Sun rises over U.S. detention center Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, Oct. 18, 2012.
Sun rises over U.S. detention center Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, Oct. 18, 2012.
Reuters
An attorney for a man charged with plotting the Sept. 11 attacks accused U.S. military guards at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility on Thursday of seizing his client's private legal documents.
 
The allegation from Navy Commander Walter Ruiz called into question whether five defendants undergoing a pretrial hearing in the Guantanamo war crimes tribunal can expect a fair trial on charges of terrorism, hijacking and murdering nearly 3,000 people.
 
Ruiz represents Saudi defendant Mustafa al Hawsawi, who is accused of wiring money to the Sept. 11 airplane hijackers to fund their 2001 attack on the United States. Ruiz said Guantanamo guards seized documents from Hawsawi's cell that were marked “attorney-client privilege.”
 
Under U.S. law, a criminal defendant's right to representation by counsel includes a right to confidential communications with an attorney and private legal documents.
 
“We have an issue of unlawful authority,” Ruiz said.
 
Under questioning from Ruiz, Navy Commander George Massucco admitted that a Guantanamo guard seized documents from Hawsawi's cell and put them in an envelope.
 
Massucco, a prison camp lawyer and liaison with “high-value” detainees like Hawsawi, said: “Some of the documents had attorney-client marks on them, yes.”
 
He said he did not read the documents after the guard showed them to him.
 
“I didn't go any further,” Massucco said. “I went to Mr. Hawsawi's cell and I gave it to him.”
 
Prosecutors did not dispute that guards seized documents from the cells of Hawsawi and other Guantanamo prisoners.
 
The document seizure drew a rebuke from the judge, Army Colonel James Pohl. He said he has seen similar improper searches and seizures from Guantanamo guards on previous occasions as they looked for contraband.
 
Frequently, commanding officers use the excuse, “We have new people and they didn't know,” Pohl said.
 
Air Force Captain Michael Schwartz, one of the lawyers representing Yemeni defendant Walid bin Attash, said the intrusion into attorney-client mail was causing defendants to mistrust the confidential relationship and “negatively affecting our ability to do our job.”
 
The document seizure is the latest allegation of wrongdoing the defendants' attorneys have lodged against the U.S. military. Other allegations have included physical abuse and harassment.
 
The pretrial hearing in the death penalty case at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba was monitored by Reuters through closed-circuit television at the Fort Meade, Maryland, Army base.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid