FORT MEADE, United States (AFP) – The US government urged a judge Monday to keep interrogation methods used on an Iraqi detainee while he was at secret CIA prison classified.
The detainee, Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, 53, is now at Guantanamo and faces a potential life sentence for war crimes. He is accused of being a senior al-Qaeda commander and sponsoring deadly attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan. During a hearing before a military judge at Guantanamo, prosecutor Mikeal Clayton argued that only the original classification authority – generally the CIA – should decide what can be revealed.
He said the government did not want to limit what Abd al-Hadi can say “about his experience prior to his trial,” but that he wanted “to get the right balance between a fair trial … and protecting national security information.”
Clayton asked for all interrogation methods be kept secret, and not just “enhanced interrogation techniques,” which, he said, weren’t used on the detainee. Abd al-Hadi’s lawyer, Ben Stirk, however, said he was concerned that “secret evidence and secret discovery … wouldn’t be available to our client.”
“If they’re not willing to share that with the accused or the counsel this case shouldn’t proceed,” he said.
Abd al-Hadi, an alleged former Taleban leader and one of Osama bin Laden’s top military commanders, is one of around 15 “high value” detainees in Guantanamo who passed first through CIA prisons. Some were subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques,” including sleep deprivation and waterboarding.
Abd al-Hadi is the 10th Guantanamo inmate to be sent to the special military court under President Barack Obama. Since the prison opened in 2002, eight detainees have been tried and convicted, out of 779 who have been held.