9/11 lawyer to challenge secret Guantanamo camp

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) — A defense lawyer who gained rare access to an ultra-secret section of the Guantanamo Bay prison says the camp does not meet international standards under the Geneva Conventions.

However, Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, the chief prosecutor for the U.S. military’s war crimes tribunal, denies the allegation.

James Connell, a lawyer for one of the five Guantanamo prisoners charged in the Sept. 11 terror attack, plans to file a motion with the judge presiding over the tribunal challenging the conditions in the section known as Camp 7.

Connell won approval from the judge to spend 12 hours with two experts inside Camp 7, which holds men deemed “high-value detainees.” The lawyer says he was prevented from seeing how to get to Camp 7 and is not permitted to reveal exactly what he saw, but he says it amounts to pretrial punishment, which is prohibited under military regulations.

Gen. Martins says the security is designed to prevent the release of classified information by high-value detainees, who include all five men charged in the 9/11 attack.

A pretrial hearing for Connell’s client and four others charged in the attacks starts Monday.

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