[JURIST] A US magistrate judge ruled Tuesday that US Department of Justice [official website] employees must disclose whether they were aware of the government monitoring conversations between Sept. 11 detainees and their attorneys. The judge's ruling comes in a lawsuit [CCR materials] brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights [advocacy website] on behalf of a class of Arab and Muslim men who were detained and deported shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks [JURIST news archive]. CCR asked Judge Steven Gold to order the government to reveal whether they had monitored any form of communication between the detainees and their attorneys after the public disclosure of the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive].
Justice Department lawyers maintained that its lawyers had not received any communications between the detainees and attorneys involved in the case, but stopped short of saying whether Justice Department employees or potential witnesses were aware of any monitoring of communications between the detainees and their attorneys, stating that could be classified information. CCR plans to call former Attorney General John Ashcroft and current FBI Director Robert Mueller [official profiles] to testify in the case. AP has more.