Constitutional Law

Federal Judge Tells DOJ to Make Gitmo Case Files Public

Siding with the media and lawyers representing detainees at the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., today gave the government a July 29 deadline. By that date, the U.S. Department of Justice must either to seek to protect specific information about the cases against more than 100 prisoners there or provide public files about the cases in their entirety to those who wish to see the material.

The government is supposed to maintain two versions of the so-called factual returns about each detainee’s case—one set of files, containing classified information, that detainees’ lawyers are given, and another, more limited version for the public, reports the Blog of Legal Times.

However, explaining that some classified information may have leaked into the public version of the files, the U.S. Department of Justice last year sought a protective order. “It did not offer a time frame for fixing the mistakes,” the law blog recounts.

Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan today found that the government’s attempt to keep the public version of the files under wraps was overbroad and “devoid of specificity,” the BLT reports.

Additional and related coverage:

Associated Press: “Judge: Gitmo legal documents must be public”

Reuters: “US judge: Guantanamo evidence must be made public” “Calling All Movie Buffs & Bloggers to ABA Award-Winning Trial Film Event June 2”

Updated at 7:40 p.m. to link to Associated Press article.

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