US judge's order on CIA secret prisons released

  • AFP, Fort Meade, United States
  • Updated: Apr 23, 2014 09:59 IST

The US government must turn over information on secret CIA interrogation centers connected to the trial of the alleged mastermind of the 2000 USS Cole bombing, a military judge said in an order released in full on Tuesday.

As the first day of pretrial hearings for Saudi suspect Abd Rahim al-Nashiri got underway, the order by the judge, Army colonel James Pohl, demanded prosecutors provide the requested information "broadly and liberally" in light of the case's possibility for capital punishment.

Nashiri, 49, faces the death penalty if convicted over the bombing of the US warship in Yemen 14 years ago which left 17 people dead.

He appeared relaxed, with short hair and a clean-shaven face during the hearing held at Guantanamo Bay and watched by journalists from Fort Meade, Maryland.

Between his 2002 arrest and 2006 transfer to the notorious Guantanamo detention center, Nashiri endured harsh interrogation techniques.

In the order which was revealed last Thursday but was published in full Tuesday, Pohl demanded the government give Nashiri's lawyers "a chronology identifying where the accused was held in detention between the date of his capture to the date he arrived at Guantanamo Bay."

The order, which was dated April 14, calls for "all records, photographs, videos and summaries," on the condition of his confinement in each prison and during transport.

It also asks for a complete list of all medical personnel, guards and interrogators "who had direct and substantial contact" with Nashiri, among other requests.

Lawyers for the five alleged September 11 plotters have asked to receive the same order in their cases.

Nashiri's lawyer Rick Kammen said he thought it was fitting for the 9/11 cases.

"It is the most important order in the history of military commissions," he said, adding he was still unsure if the government would comply.

If it does, it "will absolutely delay the trial," set for December. If it refuses, the judge is likely to dismiss the case, Kammen said.

The CIA declined to comment on ongoing legal cases, it told AFP.

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