Gitmo Judge: Evidence Exonerating Detainee Must Remain Secret

Held for 11 Years, Businessman Likely Was Innocent

by Jason Ditz, January 09, 2013

Long-standing Guantanamo Bay detainee Wali Mohammed will have his day in court, at least to the extent that the military tribunal system counts as “court,” but the evidence exonerating him of the allegations against him will not, according to Judge Rosemary Collyer.

Mohammed’s lawyers had sought evidence related to the “confidence source” of claims he was a terrorist financier for al-Qaeda, evidence which could prove that he was an innocent businessman who was sold to the US on fake charges for refusing to pay a bribe.

Judge Collyer conceded that the evidence in question would be “extremely helpful” to Mohammed’s lawyers in making the case, and could well secure his outright release, nearly 11 years into his detention. Still, she insisted it was “too secret” to allow the lawyers to have access to.

In the past, the US has offered redacted versions of such documents to lawyers, but Collyer insists there is no way these particular documents could ever be sufficiently redacted to allow such a release. Still, Collyer conceded that she had herself seen the evidence, and that this might carry some weight in the case in and of itself.

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