Former Guantanamo military lawyer on trial for leaking detainee names

[JURIST] The court-martial [JURIST report] of the Navy lawyer accused of passing then-undisclosed names of Guantanamo detainees to a lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) [advocacy website] began Monday. In its opening statement, the prosecution argued that Lt. Cmdr. Matthew M. Diaz, a former staff judge advocate at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], endangered the lives of detainees and of US soldiers in the war on terror. Diaz's attorneys argued that the information was not marked classified and that Diaz had no reason to believe that the names of the detainees "could be used to injure the United States." Diaz is charged [press release, DOC; JURIST report] under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and the Espionage Act [text] with failing to obey a lawful general regulation, engaging in conduct unbecoming an officer by wrongfully transmitting classified documents to an unauthorized person, and turning over to unauthorized person secret information related to national defense. If convicted, Diaz could face a maximum prison sentence of 24 years.

In February 2005, CCR human rights lawyer Barbara Olshansky received in the mail printouts of approximately 550 detainee names, months before AP forced the Defense Department to officially release the detainee lists [JURIST report] through Freedom of Information Act requests. AP has more.

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