Legal Technology

Defense asks for freeze on 9/11 plot death-penalty case until Gitmo computer problems are resolved

A computer system that was supposed to provide defense lawyers at a Guantanamo Bay war crimes tribunal with a safe and secure place to store client documents is so riddled with problems that they have sometimes resorted to using public Wi-Fi at coffee shops on base and in Washington, D.C.

In a hearing this week, they are asking the judge, Army Col. James Pohl, to freeze pretrial proceedings concerning the five defendants, who are accused in the capital case of playing a role in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, until the computer system is functional, Reuters reports.

Claimed problems have included missing documents and email, corrupted documents and a prosecutor given access by the system to some defense files. One lawyer has suggested that U.S. intelligence agencies are responsible for security breaches in the system.

If Pohl agrees to delay the case, it could be put on hold until next year.

An earlier Huffington Post article provides further details.

See also: (April 2013): “Military judge postpones 9/11 cases due to ‘nearly catastrophic server crash’ in Pentagon system”

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