Commander not aware of Gitmo 'bugs'

Feb. 14, 2013 at 12:02 PM
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GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The Army officer in charge of a prison camp at Guantanamo says he knew nothing about microphones hidden in the compound where detainees met their lawyers.

Col. John V. Bogdan, the commander of a compound called Camp Echo II, testified in a hearing his men had strict orders not to listen to conversations between prisoners and the attorneys, The Miami Herald reported Wednesday.

The hearing was ordered by a judge, Army Col. James L. Pohl, after defense attorneys discovered hidden microphones last week inside devices thought to be smoke detectors.

Bogdan told the court while he had total control of the camp, he was not aware the listening devices had been hidden inside the compound by the FBI, that that Navy engineers disconnected the bugs during renovations in October, or that an intelligence unit reconnected them in December.

The compound is used exclusively by attorneys and 16 prisoners formerly held by the CIA.

Navy Capt. Thomas Walsh, the prison's staff attorney, testified Tuesday he discovered the eavesdropping in January 2012, six months before Bogdan took over. The warden at the time assured him no one was listening to confidential conversations.

Bogdan testified Wednesday he was not informed about the listening devices.

He said the FBI controlled the camp until 2008, when it was turned over to the Army with the bugs still in place.

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