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DOD refuses to release Khalid Sheikh Mohammed tribunal tape

[JURIST] The US Department of Defense will not release audio recordings of the March 9 Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) [DOD backgrounder] hearing for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [BBC profile] at Guantanamo Bay due to concerns that it could be used in terrorist propaganda, a military spokesperson said Tuesday. During his hearing Mohammed said he masterminded the 9/11 attacks [JURIST report; transcript, PDF] and claimed responsibility for 29 other planned terror attacks. DOD has released censored transcripts of the proceeding, editing out Mohammed's allegations that he was tortured while under CIA custody [HRW report]. Audio recordings from the CSRT hearings for several other detainees have been released [JURIST report].

Mohammed and 13 other top terror suspects [DNI profile, PDF] were given closed [JURIST report] CSRT hearings to determine if they qualified as "enemy combatants" [JURIST news archive] subject to indefinite US military detention. In March, several US senators issued a joint statement saying that Mohammed's claims of torture had to be "taken seriously and properly investigated" [JURIST report]. Approximately 385 detainees are currently held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. Pentagon officials say that they plan to try approximately 80 detainees under the framework created by the Military Commissions Act of 2006 [PDF text], and transfer another 80 detainees to other countries. The rest remain in legal limbo. AP has more.

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