Now in Legal Rebels:
Posted Oct 31, 2008 04:23 pm CDT
A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has ordered prosecutors to turn over documents shedding light on a Guantanamo detainee’s claims of torture in a case that troubled the British High Court.
Ruling in the case of Binyam Mohamed, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the Justice Department to turn over the documents and questioned government allegations that the detainee participated in a dirty-bomb plot, the New York Times reports.
Mohamed contends he falsely confessed to a dirty-bomb conspiracy while he was being tortured in Morocco after being transferred there at the direction of the CIA, report the Times and the Washington Post. The government has withdrawn a dirty-bomb charge against Mohamed and against his alleged co-conspirator, Jose Padilla.
Sullivan questioned why the government dropped the charge shortly before it was ordered to give the defense exculpatory evidence, the Washington Post reports. “That raises serious questions in this court’s mind about whether those allegations were ever true,” Sullivan said.
The government has not acknowledged that Mohamed was held in Morocco. Prosecutors contend the dirty-bomb charge was warranted but was withdrawn to expedite proceedings.
Earlier this month the British court said <a href=”http://www.abajournal.com/news/uk_court_us_should_release_documents_relating_to_detainees_torture_claim/”it found “deeply disturbing””>it found “deeply disturbing” the United States’ refusal to turn over documents in Mohamed’s case. Mohamed is one of five Guantanamo terrorism suspects whose cases were delayed after a military prosecutor quit the job because of concerns that exculpatory evidence was not being turned over to the defense.