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Pentagon held in contempt in Gitmo case

Dec. 11, 2009 at 8:46 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- A federal judge held the U.S. Defense Department in contempt for not taping a Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, military prison detainee's testimony as ordered.

Attorneys for Mohammed al-Adahi, a Yemeni citizen at the prison, filed the motion seeking sanctions after al-Adahi's testimony was not videotaped during a four-day hearing in June, CNN reported Friday.

Al-Adahi had challenged his detention and asked for a court review, which was granted in August, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said in the order issued Thursday.

The June hearing was closed to the public, but the government was ordered to videotape al-Adahi's testimony, then redact and maintain a copy of it to "afford the public and the press an opportunity to observe the greatest possible portion," U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler wrote in the order.

The court document indicated the government notified the court in July the testimony wasn't taped, saying "oversight and miscommunication" led to the error.

"There is no question that there is clear and convincing evidence that the government has violated a clear and unambiguous court order," Kessler wrote.

The Pentagon also was ordered to post a transcript on the federal court system's' Web page for Guantanamo Bay cases. The judge gave the Defense Department 30 days to report the steps being taken "to ensure that such errors not occur in the future."

Kessler ordered al-Adahi released in August, CNN reported. The government has appealed that ruling and he remains at Guantanamo Bay. The military prison houses 210 detainees.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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