Nytt

To sentrale Al Qaida-fanger på Gutanamo er blitt så mentalt forstyrret av oppholdet at de ikke kan stilles for retten. En av dem er mannen som etter alt å dømme skulle vært den 20. kapreren 9/11.

Mohammed al-Qahtani ble stanset i passkontrollen av en årvåken betjent da han forsøkte å reise inn i USA og måtte gjøre vendreis til Saudi-Arabia da han ikke kunne forklare grunnen til besøket.

Nå har han forsøkt å begå selvmord, opplyser forsvareren. Påtalemyndigheten kunngjorde forrige uke at den dropper tiltalen mot Qathani, som blir sittende på Gutanamo.

In 2002 Mr. Qahtani suffered a severe and prolonged interrogation that a Pentagon review later labeled «abusive and degrading.» Some military investigators and prosecutors feared that the coercive treatment had ruined a potential case against Mr. Qahtani, under legal and ethical rules.

Mr. Qahtani, who has been held in isolation for most of his six-year detention at Guantanamo, has become increasingly paranoid, incoherent and difficult to work with, says his lawyer, Gitanjali Gutierrez.

Det var på forsvarsminister Donald Rumsfelds spesifikke ordre at Qathani ble utsatt for harde metoder.

n 2002, after military interrogators concluded that Mr. Qahtani had ceased providing useful intelligence, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved special interrogation methods for the detainee. He was interrogated for as many as 20 hours a day for 48 days, made to wear women’s underwear, subjected to deafening music and leashed like a dog, among other methods, according to a Pentagon report.

Hvis det kan reises tvil om den tiltaltes mentale helse kan en dommer vedta at det skal foretas en psykiatrisk undersøkelse av et uavhengig fag-panel. En dommer bestemte sist fredag at det skal gjøres en slik utredning av mannen som var Osama bin Ladens sjåfør en periode.

Under military commission rules, a defendant can’t be tried if his mental condition renders him «unable to understand the nature of the proceedings» or «to conduct or cooperate intelligently» in his defense. If the issue is raised in proceedings, a military judge can order an independent mental health board to evaluate the defendant and advise the court on his competency to stand trial.

Friday, a military judge ordered such an inquiry for Guantanamo defendant Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden’s former driver, after a psychiatrist hired by the defense reported that Mr. Hamdan was suffering from «major depression» and expressed suicidal thoughts.

En tilsvarende undersøkelse av Qathani vil sette søkelyset på metodene han er blitt utsatt for. Derfor kan Pentagon ha bestemt at det var bedre å droppe tiltalen.

If a military judge were to order a similar examination for Mr. Qahtani, it could force the first independent inquiry into his interrogation, which to date has been reviewed by only the Pentagon.

The prospect of two key Guantanamo defendants being incapable of standing trial is another problem for a military commissions system already beset by legal challenges and staff unrest.

Abuse Impaired 9/11 Suspect

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