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Translator sentenced for taking classified Guantanamo documents

[JURIST] An Arabic translator who took computer disks full of classified documents out of the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST Hot Topic archive] naval base was sentenced Friday to 20 months in prison by the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts [official website]. Ahmed Mehalba admitted taking the documents, but said he was only trying to do a good job by working at home. Mehalba was also off his medication for bipolar disorder at the time. Mehalba has already served 16 months since his arrest and is soon eligible for a good behavior release, so could be released in a matter of weeks. Lawyers for both sides recommended a lighter sentence in light of these circumstances. Three others were also arrested as part of an espionage sweep at Guantanamo Bay, but those cases have largely fallen apart [Seattle Times report]. The Boston Globe has more on Mehalba's sentencing.

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