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Federal judge rules lawyers for Guantanamo detainee may question 9/11 conspirator

[JURIST] A judge in the US District Court for the District of Columbia has granted [opinion, PDF] lawyers for another Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee permission to question Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], the self-proclaimed architect of the 9/11 attacks [JURIST report], in a ruling made public Thursday. Attorneys for Abdul Raheem Ghulam Rabbani will be allowed to submit narrow, written questions concerning Rabbani's work for Mohammed. Rabbani has argued he was not a member of al Qaeda [JURIST news archive], but merely a menial servant. Government lawyers sought to limit discovery in this case because of the sensitive national security information involved, but prosecutors will be permitted to review Mohammed's answers and redact statements involving national security.

In December, Mohammed postponed his offer to plead guilty [JURIST report] at a military commission hearing because the judge required a competency hearing. In June 2008, Mohammed and four other suspects were arraigned before a military commission after the Pentagon approved death penalty charges [JURIST reports] in June. In February of that year, CIA Director Michael Hayden publicly acknowledged [JURIST report] that Mohammed had been subjected to waterboarding [JURIST news archive] during interrogation. Mohammed also faces a trial in absentia in France [JURIST report] for his alleged involvement in a suicide bombing of a Tunisian synagogue [BBC report] located in Djerba in April 2002.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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