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Defense attorney says Gitmo's Camp 7 violates Geneva Convention

Aug. 19, 2013 at 9:54 AM

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- A defense lawyer in case on the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States said a Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, secret prison violates the Geneva Convention.

Pentagon defense lawyer James Connell said he spent 12 hours Thursday with his client, Ammar al Baluchi, inside the compound known as Camp 7, an off-the-grid camp where captives who were waterboarded overseas and others were held, The Miami Herald reported Sunday.

Connell said he took "hundreds of photos," which are with intelligence officials, and said has objections to raise with the prison commander at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where Camp 7 is. If the commander does not comply, Connell said he would file documents with the chief war court judge.

Connell said circumstances of his access didn't permit discussion of specific issues, but told the Herald broadly "preventative detention requires a number of things, essentially elements of communal living, a number of things that concerned us."

Spokesmen for the facility said they weren't allowed to discuss the matter.

Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, the chief war crimes prosecutor, also wouldn't comment, but said, "We take very seriously humane standards. ... I'm not responsible for the facility."

Martins said the CIA ran Camp 7 was a "law-of-armed-conflict facility."

The U.S. Southern Command, which supervises the prison, has asked Congress for $49 million to build a new Camp 7, citing unspecified structural problems, the Herald said.

Connell raised questions about Camp 7's compliance with the Geneva Convention concerning prisoner treatment just before a week of pretrial hearings on the Sept. 11 case. The Herald said the hearings are expected to focus primarily on legal arguments and procedures, including the level of secrecy surrounding the trial before a panel of U.S. military officers.

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