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Padilla defense moves for dismissal due to mistreatment, delay

[JURIST] Defense attorneys for Jose Padilla [JURIST news archive], now formally accused of being an al Qaeda agent, moved this week to dismiss the charges against him based on allegedly illegal actions by the prosecution. Padilla's attorneys accuse the US government of subjecting him to severe physical abuse and threats, including sleep deprivation and stress positions, during his 3-and-a-half years in military custody in a South Carolina navy brig. The US Department of Justice [official website] has already said that it will not use any evidence procured during his detention by the military. In addition, Padilla's lawyers argue that the delay between his 2002 arrest and his charging have compromised the defense.

Padilla, a US citizen initially suspected of planning to set off a "dirty bomb" in the United States and classified as an "enemy combatant" [JURIST news archive] subject to indefinite detention, was finally charged [JURIST report] last year on unrelated terrorism charges. He was transferred to civilian custody [JURIST report] in January of this year, when he pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to the charges. His trial is scheduled to begin [JURIST report] January 22. MCT has more.

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