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Defense lawyers for 9/11 detainees seek to delay arraignments

[JURIST] Military defense lawyers for the five Guantanamo Bay detainees allegedly behind the Sept. 11 attacks [JURIST news archive] are attempting to delay their clients' arraignments, currently scheduled [JURIST report] for June 5. They allege the US government has interfered with the defendants' rights to counsel by refusing to provide facilities for the review of classified evidence or to grant security clearances to attorneys assisting in the defense. The lawyers also objected to the restrictions on discussion of their clients' cases with co-counsel, limitations on the review of the attorneys' own notes taken regarding the cases, and procedures to gain access to the defendants. Last Tuesday, the Miami Herald reported that death penalty charges against the Sept. 11 defendants were confirmed [JURIST report] by the Convening Authority for the military commissions. AP has more. Reuters has additional coverage.

Military defense lawyers filed motions to dismiss charges against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other Sept. 11 defendants Friday, arguing that the charges against them were unduly influenced [JURIST report] by Air Force Reserve Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann. Early last week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] accused the US Department of Defense of stalling on security clearances [JURIST report; ACLU press release] for civilian lawyers seeking to assist in the defense of Guantanamo detainees. The US Supreme Court is expected to rule in June on the cases of Boumediene v. Bush [docket; merit briefs] and Al Odah v. United States [docket; merit briefs], determining whether Guantanamo detainees should be allowed to challenge their detentions in federal court.

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