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Navy postpones hearing for Gitmo military lawyer accused of leaking detainee names

[JURIST] A US Navy spokesman said Monday that an Article 32 hearing scheduled for Tuesday in the case of Lt. Cmdr. Matthew M. Diaz, a staff attorney with the US Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps accused of leaking detainee names while stationed at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], has been postponed and has not yet been rescheduled. Diaz was charged [JURIST report; News4Jax.com report] in August with relaying secret national defense information to a person outside the government "with intent or reason to believe that the said information was to be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation." He allegedly printed and mailed to an outside party classified names and information related to Guantanamo detainees between December 2004 and March 2005, months before AP forced the Defense Department to release detainee lists [JURIST report] through Freedom of Information Act requests. If convicted, Diaz faces more than 30 years in prison. Diaz's case was cited [Senate RPC briefing paper, PDF] in the Congressional debate over new US military commissions [JURIST news archive] that followed the Supreme Court's June ruling in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld as a cautionary tale suggesting that classified information might not even be safe in the hands of cleared military defense counsel who could turn out to be "ideological attorneys."

Article 32 hearings [JAG backgrounder] are similar to civilian grand jury proceedings and determine whether a case will go forward to court-martial, whether administrative punishment is warranted, or whether charges against an accused should be dropped. The Navy Times has more.

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