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Monday, 6 April 2009

Famed Gitmo Lawyer Facing Six Months in Prison For Writing Letter to Obama Detailing Torture of Client

Clive Stafford Smith is accused of 'unprofessional conduct' by Pentagon officials who monitor communication between Gitmo prisoners and their lawyers.

Lawyers for Binyam Mohamed face the incredible prospect of a six-month jail sentence in America after writing a letter to President Obama detailing their client's allegations of torture by U.S. agents.

The privilege review team -- officials from the U.S. Department of Defense who monitor and censor communication between Guantnamo prisoners and their lawyers -- have previously been accused of using their powers to suppress evidence of the abuse and mistreatment of detainees.

Clive Stafford Smith, director of legal charity Reprieve, and his colleague Ahmed Ghappour have been summoned to appear before a Washington court on May 11 after a complaint was made by the privilege review team.

Stafford Smith had written to the president after judges in the UK ruled against the release of U.S. evidence detailing Mohamed's alleged torture at Guantnamo. The letter asked the president to reconsider the U.S. position and urged him to release the evidence into the public domain. He attached a memo summarizing the case because his US security clearance gives him access to the classified material. In order to comply with classification guidelines, the memo did not identify individual officers by name or specify locations of the abuse. More