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Guantanamo judge considers delaying 9/11 trial over computer problems

A judge at Guantanamo Bay is considering whether to delay the trials of five men charged in the 9/11 terrorist attacks [JURIST backgrounders] because lawyers in the case have lost data due to problems with a Pentagon computer system. Lawyers for the five men, who have been charged with plotting and aiding the attacks, asked the government to create a new and secure computer system [AP report], a process that could take several months. Lawyers for both sides will testify on the computer issue on Monday. The judge has not yet set a trial date.

This is the most recent development in the several recent controversies surrounding Guantanamo Bay. Earlier this week a federal judge ruled [JURIST report] that the US government does not have to release photographs and videotapes taken during the investigation of Mohammed al-Qahtani's connection to the 9/11 attacks. Last month the US transferred [JURIST report] two Guantanamo detainees to Algeria. In July a US court ruled [JURIST report] that Guantanamo guards were allowed to continue detainee genital searches. In June a federal judge called on members of Congress and President Barack Obama to give serious consideration to formulating a different approach [JURIST report] for the handling of Guantanamo detainee cases. Just days prior Obama appointed [JURIST report] Clifford Sloan to be the new envoy in charge of closing Guantanamo. The appointment followed a speech [JURIST report] Obama made in May that outlined US counterterrorism policy and efforts. In April JURIST guest columnist David Frakt urged the Obama administration [JURIST op-ed] to release those detainees held at Guantanamo Bay who have already been declared to not be a danger to the US.

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