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DOD stalling on security clearances for civilian Guantanamo lawyers: ACLU

[JURIST] The US Department of Defense has still not issued security clearances [ACLU press release] to civilian lawyers seeking to participate in the defense of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and other detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] said Tuesday. ACLU Anthony Romero said that not one of eight lawyers who had recently applied for clearance had received it and that the delay may be a DOD tactic to deny the detainees fair trials, but a Pentagon spokesperson said that the department was working toward clearing the lawyers. The ACLU and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers announced in April that would team up to provide experienced defense attorneys [JURIST report] for the alleged 9/11 conspirators. The Miami Herald has more.

Death penalty charges [JURIST report] against Mohammed and four other detainees allegedly involved in planning the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States were confirmed by the Convening Authority [DOD press release; JURIST report] for the US military commissions and sent to defense lawyers late Monday. Charges against a sixth man, Mohammed al-Qahtani, were dropped.

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