Lawyer for Gitmo Detainee Challenges Mail-reading Rule

By:  Joe Wolverton, II
02/13/2012
       
Lawyer for Gitmo Detainee Challenges Mail-reading Rule

An attorney for an American accused of conspiring to carry out the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging a new rule at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility instructing agents of the military and the government to read all correspondence between lawyers and those prisoners suspected of being 9/11 conspirators.

 

An attorney for an American accused of conspiring to carry out the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging a new rule at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility instructing agents of the military and the government to read all correspondence between lawyers and those prisoners suspected of being 9/11 conspirators.

James Connell, defense counsel for Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, in his pleading asks the federal court to block enforcement of the rule, citing a violation of his client’s constitutional right of access to counsel, as well as the privilege afforded communication between attorneys and clients. Connell, a lawyer based in Washington, D.C., also charges that the correspondence guidelines infringe upon the privacy legally afforded all mail exchanged between private citizens.

As reported by the Washington Post, Connell explained, “The Supreme Court has said there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in a letter when you mail it from one person to another and there have to be certain requirements before the government can violate that.

As reported last December in The New American, the commander of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, Rear Admiral David Woods, issued a fundamental rule change regarding the military’s right to access and review written communication exchanged between Gitmo prisoners suspected of being co-conspirators in the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the attorneys representing them.

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Photo: AP Images

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