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Federal judge dismisses Yemeni Guantanamo detainee habeas petition

[JURIST] Judge Royce Lamberth of the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Tuesday granted [order, PDF; memorandum opinion, PDF] the government's motion to dismiss the petition for habeas corpus brought on behalf of Yemeni Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Idris Ahmad Abdu Qadir Idris [NYT profile]. The petition was filed in 2005 by the Federal Public Defenders [official website] with Guantanamo detainee Sami Muhyedin al Hajj acting as "next friend" for Idris. Lamberth emphasized in the opinion that Idris had repeatedly refused to meet with his lawyers and dismissed the petition for lack of authorization of representation. Lamberth wrote:

Contrary to petitioner's counsel's assertion, the Court finds that it is not necessary for counsel to meet with petitioner for petitioner to validly refuse to authorize counsel to pursue his action. By refusing to meet with counsel on at least five occasions, petitioner has unequivocally refused to authorize counsel to go forward with his case. Indeed, petitioner has had ample opportunity to change his mind and meet with counsel in order to authorize his case to proceed, but he has refrained from doing so.

Lamberth also denied a motion to compel discovery on Idris's competence, knowledge, and voluntariness.

Last month, a judge denied [JURIST report] the habeas petition of Algerian Guantanamo Bay detainee Sufiyan Barhoumi, bringing the total number of government victories to eight, while 30 detainees' habeas petitions have been granted. Also in September, a judge granted [JURIST report] the habeas petition of detainee Fouad Al Rabiah, ordering his release.

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