'Insane' Gitmo Rules Frustrate Lawyers

Red tape strangles proceedings
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2008 11:42 AM CDT
In this image reviewed by the U.S. Military, a Guantanamo detainee holds onto a fence on the grounds of the maximum security prison at Camp 5, at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba, June 26, 2006.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
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(Newser) – Lawyers for the five Guantanamo prisoners facing military tribunals find themselves drowning in red tape, with security rules undermining even the most basic proceedings, Reuters reports. From office supplies to legal backup for the three detainees representing themselves, support is hard to come by. "You have from the sublime to the ridiculous," says one lawyer. "You have from the mundane to the serious and significant."

The prisoners can’t see classified evidence that might exonerate them, and prosecutors don’t have to present it in court. The question of translating documents into Arabic is up in the air, as are the logistics of communication between detainees and the judge. "And at the end of this, the government’s desire is to execute" his client, says another lawyer. “I find that just insane.”