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Navy lawyers: Guantanamo bugs did not breach detainee attorney-client privilege

Military lawyers from the US Navy on Tuesday said that surveillance equipment deployed throughout the Guantanamo Bay detention center [JURIST backgrounder] was not used to breach attorney-client privilege. The officials indicated that devices used to record audio and video were routinely placed throughout the detention center, but they were only used for security purposes. The surveillance devices were often concealed in common objects such as smoke detectors. The lawyers admitted that a person would not know they were under surveillance, but that the prosecuting lawyers did not review any of the recordings. Officials also indicated that some legal mailings had been opened and searched for contraband and then delivered to the detainee. They said that they did not read any of the documents.

The procedures and policies regarding the 9/11 [JURIST backgrounder] military commission hearings have faced significant scrutiny. Earlier this month, a military judge ordered the removal [JURIST report] of any monitoring system that censors the public broadcast of the hearings. In September, a federal judge rejected [JURIST report] new restrictions on the ability of lawyers representing detainees who have had their habeas corpus challenges denied or dismissed to access their clients. In February 2012 the chief US military tribunal judge ruled [JURIST report] that the content of attorney-client mail inspected at the Guantanamo Bay prison is confidential and may not be released.

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