9/11 defendant: US withholds food at Guantanamo

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) — A defendant in the Sept. 11 case says Guantanamo Bay guards have been withholding food when he’s in court or meeting with his lawyer.

Ramzi bin al Shibh made the allegation in a pretrial hearing in the Sept. 11 war crimes case. He told the military judge guards deprive him of food as a form of “psychological torture.” Military officials deny the allegation. The judge, Army Col. James Pohl, allowed bin al Shibh to leave court and return to his cell for the day. The four other defendants had earlier chosen not to attend Tuesday’s session.

Bin al Shibh’s complaints came during lengthy arguments over the rules for handling classified evidence that must be established before the defense can prepare for a trial likely more than a year away.

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