Judge allows lawyers to photograph alleged terrorist's torture scars

Dec. 2, 2013 at 4:50 PM
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MIAMI, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Alleged Sept. 11, 2001, mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed's ankle and wrist scars can be photographed to preserve evidence in his case, a military judge ruled.

In a three-page ruling unsealed last week, Army Col. James Pohl ordered the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prison, where Mohammed is detained, to permit defense attorneys to conduct the photographing. He made clear, though, the public may never see the images defense lawyers consider proof the CIA tortured Mohammed during years of custody, including 183 incidents of waterboarding.

Prosecutors, who do not concede Mohammed and co-defendant Walid bin Attah were tortured before they arrived at Guantanamo, wanted prison commanders to control the photo sessions, with the Pentagon's elite Combat Camera unit taking the photos.

Defense lawyers called the prosecutors' demands an intrusion into the attorney-client relationship, and Pohl agreed, the Miami Herald said, adding the judge's decision did not necessarily infer the photographs would remain classified.

Pohl wrote he invoked a war-court protective order preventing release of non-secret material "where disclosure is detrimental to the public interest."

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