NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) – No court in the world has ever ordered the International Committee of the Red Cross to open its confidential files on prisoner visits and the U.S. Guantanamo war crimes tribunal would set a dangerous precedent if it becomes the first to do so, a lawyer for the humanitarian group said on Tuesday.
International treaties give the ICRC the unique responsibility of visiting war captives to ensure they are treated humanely, and its access depends on strict neutrality and the ability to work privately with detaining authorities, ICRC attorney William MacLean told the court.
NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Monday publicly identified for the first time 46 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay whom it wants to hold indefinitely without charge or trial because it says they are too dangerous to release but cannot be prosecuted.
The Defense Department released the names on Monday after the Miami Herald and a group of Yale Law School students sued for its release in a U.S. District Court in Washington.
NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) – Lawyers for five prisoners accused of plotting the September 11 attacks in 2001 have asked to see confidential reports made by representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross who visited the defendants at the Guantanamo detention camp.
The issue is one of dozens on the docket for a week-long pretrial hearing set to start on Monday in the death penalty case against the alleged mastermind of the hijacked plane attacks on the United States, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four co-defendants accused of funding and training the hijackers.
NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) – The Guantanamo war crimes tribunal ended a pretrial hearing for a prisoner accused of directing the deadly bombing of a U.S. warship with a closed 78-minute session on Friday that excluded the defendant.
“There was a secret session. That’s all I can say,” defense attorney Rick Kammen told journalists at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base.
NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) – The Guantanamo prison warden testified on Thursday that he banned defense lawyers from bringing spiral notebooks into client meetings because the metal spirals could be removed and made into garrotes.
He appeared ready to demonstrate when the judge in the Guantanamo war crimes tribunal blocked him from field-stripping a red notebook on the witness stand.
NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) – U.S. military doctors should refuse orders to force-feed hunger strikers at the Guantanamo detention camp because it violates their ethical obligations, two doctors and a medical ethics professor wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.
“Force-feeding a competent person is not the practice of medicine; it is aggravated assault,” the trio said in an article posted on the website of the respected medical journal.
NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) – A prisoner accused of directing the deadly bombing of a U.S. warship should be allowed to hear pretrial discussions of secret evidence in the death penalty case against him, defense lawyers in the Guantanamo war crimes tribunal argued on Wednesday.
Trial rules ensure that Saudi defendant Abd al Rahim al Nashiri can be in the courtroom during all of the actual trial and hear all the evidence put before the jury of U.S. military officers who will eventually decide his guilt or innocence.
NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) – Far fewer prisoners will be tried in the Guantanamo war crimes tribunals than the Obama administration originally planned because a recent court ruling cast doubts on the viability of some charges, the chief prosecutor for the tribunals said.
The president’s Guantanamo Review Task Force had said 36 detainees could be prosecuted, but the tribunal’s chief prosecutor put the figure at 20 at most.
NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) – An Iraqi prisoner identified as a senior al Qaeda commander has been charged in the Guantanamo war crimes tribunal with firing on a medical evacuation helicopter and using unlawful tactics to wage war on U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan.
The U.S. military made the charges against Abd al Hadi public in a statement as it prepared to start two weeks of pretrial hearings on Tuesday for other alleged al Qaeda operatives in the tribunals at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba.
MIAMI (Reuters) – Tropical Storm Andrea lost strength as it passed over northern Florida on Thursday evening and is forecast to drench much of the U.S. Southeast with heavy rain as it cuts across Georgia and swing up the Atlantic Coast, the National Hurricane Center said.
The season’s first Atlantic tropical storm had already spawned tornadoes in Florida and threatened to fuel more twisters on Thursday night, after making landfall over the Big Bend area where the Florida peninsula joins the mainland.